The University of Bristol has unveiled synthetic biology facilities, including robots for the preparation of samples and a supercomputer to carry out calculations relating to the actions of drug molecules, assemblies of proteins, and whole-cell models.
The equipment, which cost £3.3 million, will support research undertaken at Bristol’s Synthetic Biology Research Centre. Known as BrisSynBio, the centre will receive £15 million of investment from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
Paul Race, co-director of BrisSynBio, said: “The new equipment and computers will allow us to do many more experiments in parallel than have been possible previously. For example, rather than making and analysing one potential drug molecule at a time, we could make and test 100s or even 1,000s at the same time and, so, speed up drug discovery and development processes.”