Engineering in biological sciences. How many and definition/concept?
When we tend to mention an engineering in these biological areas, many would stay back. There are nevertheless many engineerings they use, the most common is genetic engineering. How many are there and what do they mean? Any contribution is welcome.
I shall start by adding the ones I know. Can anyone desceibe what they are?
In "Strain engineering", we alter the genetic makeup of microbial strains, e.g. E.coli or yeast to improve their suitability for a given application. e.g. E.coli strains that are better able to correctly fold foreign proteins by over-expressing chaperones and proline cis/trans isomerases or to introduce disulphide bridges in the cytoplasm through manipulation of the cytoplasmic redox potential and over-expression of disulphide isomerases. In addition, such production strains usually lack several of the proteases present in the corresponding wild-type strains.
"Glycoengineering" of yeast strains lead to strains that introduce into glycoproteins sugar chains what are very similar to the sugar chains introduced by human cells rather than the yeast-typical glycosylation pattern. This can be important for therapeutic proteins produced in these organisms.
"Protein engineering" aims at altering the amino acid sequence of a protein to increase its stability, production yield, catalytic activity or even construct novel proteins with desired properties.
In "Metabolic engineering", we insert/delete/differently regulate genes involved in metabolic pathways, to adapt cells to our needs, e.g. to produce specific metabolites that are of commercial interest.
All of the above are achieved by altering the genetic information of the cells, that is by "genetic engineering", by adding genes, changing or deleting others, or changing the noncoding sequences to adapt the regulatory sequences which control the expression of specific genes.
Tissue engineering is somewhat different from the above as it involves the use of scaffolding materials, different cell types and hormones controlling cell differentiation to produce supracellular assemblies that either can either be used in research to replace animal experiments or or might eventually enable us to grow "replacement organs" in cell culture for transplantation
@Annemarie Honegger Thank you for your detailed answer. Sorry I had to come up with all "subdisciplines" under genetic engineering.
@Sadiya Salisu Muhammad, my apologies for the misunderstanding. I refer to the small disciplines we call engineering even though we are not. Of course I don't mean biomedical or biochemical engineering which are bachelor degrees (it may be the case, but this is the case), I mean the small ones which are engineer but from biology, ecology... Not mechanical or similar.
"Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engineering
The disciplines of chemical, biochemical and biomedical engineering deal with the design and building of scientific equipment, production plants, diagnostic and therapeutic apparatus.
In contrast, the different subdisciplines of bioengineering relate to the design, optimisation and building of biological entities to better fulfil a desired function:
Basically, yes, Mainly by either altering the gene sequences or regulation of existing enzymes, or by introducing new genes expressing specific enzymes, for example to produce with high yield metabolites of commercial interest, or to curtail the production of undesired side products. It may also involve the manipulation of transmembrane transporters to improve the import of starting materials or the release of the desired end product into the medium.
Definition "Metabolic Engineering* from Wikipedia:
"Metabolic engineering is the practice of optimizing genetic and regulatory processes within cells to increase the cell's production of a certain substance. These processes are chemical networks that use a series of biochemical reactions and enzymes that allow cells to convert raw materials into molecules necessary for the cell's survival. Metabolic engineering specifically seeks to mathematically model these networks, calculate a yield of useful products, and pin point parts of the network that constrain the production of these products.Genetic engineering techniques can then be used to modify the network in order to relieve these constraints. Once again this modified network can be modeled to calculate the new product yield." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metabolic_engineering
Process engineering, such as Bioprocess engineering, Cell culture bioprocess engineering etc. is about building up chains of technical processes to adapt these processes to production on an industrial scale.
"Process Engineers work in Process or Continuous Manufacturing – takes a formulation or recipe of ingredients and blends them together using a chemical reaction, heat, cold, fermentation, etc continuously or in a batch into a final product which is usually a liquid, powder, gas or solid. (Think turning milk into baby formula, oil refining, gasoline, plastic, shampoo, washing powder, toothpaste, casein, cheese, butter, beer, wine, whiskey, paint, drug or vaccine manufacturing, etc)" https://www.getreskilled.com/what-is-a-process-engineer/
In the "bio" subdomain, it deals with designing the optimal flow of steps in microbial and cell culture production from preparation of media to fermenter runs to recovery and purification of the desired end products. It deals with the problem of scaling up processes from the lab scale to production scale. In this sense, it is closer to technical engineering, dealing with equipment such as fermenters, centrifuges, purification columns, formulation of the end product. https://www.getreskilled.com/what-is-a-process-engineer/
thank you very much ! as usual Annemarie very detailed answers. I would like to say, judging by her answer it is. thank you very much for your answers. I will structure the rest of the answers and add the rest. I still would like to ask anyone to contribute and to participate in this open answered question. keep up!
"A very clear answer.very detailed, Annemarie Honegger. Do you mind if I load a picture of this? I would like this question to still be answered. Please answer as a next answer of the question. – 📷Mª Angeles Zorrilla Lopez-Perea"
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