CEP: April 2017

This month's SBE supplement presents an overview of the evolving field of plant genetic engineering, which has its roots in agriculture. As currently defined, plant synthetic biology combines engineering principles with plant biology for the design and production of new complexes and traits. Other topics in this issue include soft skills for ChEs (creative thinking and technical writing) and process control.

Editorial

Conquering Fatigue

I scan a daily digest of press releases that I receive to get ideas for my editorials. One recent headline caught my attention: “Conquering Mental Fatigue.” I printed the release along with a few others I wanted to read. Only after I retrieved it from the printer did I notice that the title was “Conquering Metal Fatigue.”

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SBE Update: The Blossoming Field of Plant Synthetic Biology

April
2017
SBE Special Section
Gabriel Levesque-Tremblay, Darlene Schuster
Synthetic biology can be broadly defined as technologies that accelerate the process of genetically engineering biological systems. Although the field encompasses both plant and mammalian cells, in recent years, research has targeted mainly mammalian cells.

Delivering Genes to Plants

April
2017
SBE Special Section
Gozde S. Demirer, Markita P. Landry
Traditional methods of gene delivery to plants are labor- and time-intensive, are suitable for only a small number of hosts, and have high toxicity and limited practical applicability. This article discusses how nanoparticle-based approaches could enable efficient gene transfer into plants.

SBE Supplement: Plant Synthetic Biology (Full 28-Page Supplement)

April
2017
SBE Special Section
SBE Update: The Blossoming Field of Plant Synthetic Biology; A Brief History and Outlook on Plant Engineering; Synthetic Promoters for Precise Control of Gene Expression in Plants; Delivering Genes to Plants; Solar-Driven Synthesis of Bioactive Natural Products

Soft Skills for Chemical Engineers

April
2017
Career Catalyst
The term soft skills refers to nontechnical proficiencies. As the name implies, soft skills are not rigidly defined but often include communication (verbal and written), teamwork and collaboration, leadership, creativity, and adaptability.

Get Creative with Process Safety Management

April
2017
Safety
Paul Baybutt
Creative thinking is a necessary skill in process safety. While most people are born with the capacity for creative thinking, this skill can be lost through formal education and societal pressures that discourage it. Luckily, creative thinking can be learned.

Become a Better Writer

April
2017
Career Catalyst
Robert W. Bly
You may call yourself an engineer, but you’re also a writer. Follow these 10 tips to improve your writing.
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