The Current Opinion journals were developed out of the recognition that it is increasingly difficult for specialists to keep up to date with the expanding volume of information published in their subject. Elsevier’s Current Opinion journals comprise of 26 leading titles in life sciences and adjacent fields.

Current Opinion in Biotechnology

5-Year Impact Factor: 8.681
Issues per year: 6 issues
Editorial Board

Current Opinion in Biotechnology

The Current Opinion journals were developed out of the recognition that it is increasingly difficult for specialists to keep up to date with the expanding volume of information published in their subject. In Current Opinion in Biotechnology, we help the reader by providing in a systematic manner:
1. The views of experts on current advances in biotechnology in a clear and readable form.
2. Evaluations of the most interesting papers, annotated by experts, from the great wealth of original publications.

Division of the subject into sections
The subject of biotechnology is divided into themed sections, each of which is reviewed once a year. The amount of space devoted to each section is related to its importance.

Analytical biotechnology • Plant biotechnology • Food biotechnology • Energy biotechnology • Environmental biotechnology • Systems biology • Nanobiotechnology • Tissue, cell and pathway engineering • Chemical biotechnology • Pharmaceutical biotechnology

Selection of topics to be reviewed
Section Editors, who are major authorities in the field, are appointed by the Editors of the journal. They divide their section into a number of topics, ensuring that the field is comprehensively covered and that all issues of current importance are emphasised. Section Editors commission reviews from authorities on each topic that they have selected.

Authors write short review articles in which they present recent developments in their subject, emphasising the aspects that, in their opinion, are most important. In addition, they provide short annotations to the papers that they consider to be most interesting from all those published in their topic over the previous year.

Editorial Overview
Section Editors write a short overview at the beginning of the section to introduce the reviews and to draw the reader's attention to any particularly interesting developments.
This successful format has made Current Opinion in Biotechnology one of the most highly regarded and highly cited review journals in the field (Impact factor = 8.035).

Ethics in Publishing: General Statement

The Editor(s) and Publisher of this Journal believe that there are fundamental principles underlying scholarly or professional publishing. While this may not amount to a formal 'code of conduct', these fundamental principles with respect to the authors' paper are that the paper should: i) be the authors' own original work, which has not been previously published elsewhere, ii) reflect the authors' own research and analysis and do so in a truthful and complete manner, iii) properly credit the meaningful contributions of co-authors and co-researchers, iv) not be submitted to more than one journal for consideration, and v) be appropriately placed in the context of prior and existing research. Of equal importance are ethical guidelines dealing with research methods and research funding, including issues dealing with informed consent, research subject privacy rights, conflicts of interest, and sources of funding. While it may not be possible to draft a 'code' that applies adequately to all instances and circumstances, we believe it useful to outline our expectations of authors and procedures that the Journal will employ in the event of questions concerning author conduct. With respect to conflicts of interest, the Publisher now requires authors to declare any conflicts of interest that relate to papers accepted for publication in this Journal. A conflict of interest may exist when an author or the author's institution has a financial or other relationship with other people or organizations that may inappropriately influence the author's work. A conflict can be actual or potential and full disclosure to the Journal is the safest course. All submissions to the Journal must include disclosure of all relationships that could be viewed as presenting a potential conflict of interest. The Journal may use such information as a basis for editorial decisions and may publish such disclosures if they are believed to be important to readers in judging the manuscript. A decision may be made by the Journal not to publish on the basis of the declared conflict.

For more information, please refer to:

Best Cited over the last year.

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Polyphenols as antimicrobial agents

Polyphenols are secondary metabolites produced by higher plants, which play multiple essential roles in plant physiology and have potential healthy properties on human organism, mainly as antioxidants, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antihypertensive, and antimicrobial agents. In the present review the antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activities of the most active polyphenol classes are reported, highlighting, where investigated, the mechanisms of action and the…

Volume 23, Issue 2, 01 April 2012, Pp 174-181
Maria Daglia

Recent progress in consolidated bioprocessing

Consolidated bioprocessing, or CBP, the conversion of lignocellulose into desired products in one step without added enzymes, has been a subject of increased research effort in recent years. In this review, the economic motivation for CBP is addressed, advances and remaining obstacles for CBP organism development are reviewed, and we comment briefly on fundamental aspects. For CBP organism development beginning with microbes that have native ability to utilize insoluble components of cellulosic…

Volume 23, Issue 3, 01 June 2012, Pp 396-405
Daniel G. Olson | John E. McBride | A. Joe Shaw | Lee R. Lynd

Bacteria as vitamin suppliers to their host: A gut microbiota perspective

Food-related lactic acid bacteria (LAB) as well as human gut commensals such as bifidobacteria can de novo synthesize and supply vitamins. This is important since humans lack the biosynthetic capacity for most vitamins and these must thus be provided exogenously. Although vitamins are present in a variety of foods, deficiencies still occur, mainly due to malnutrition as a result of insufficient food intake and because of poor eating habits. Fermented milks with high levels of B-group vitamins…

Volume 24, Issue 2, 01 April 2013, Pp 160-168
Jean Guy LeBlanc | Christian Milani | Graciela Savoy de Giori | Fernando Sesma | Douwe van Sinderen | Marco Ventura

Algae biofuels: Versatility for the future of bioenergy

The world continues to increase its energy use, brought about by an expanding population and a desire for a greater standard of living. This energy use coupled with the realization of the impact of carbon dioxide on the climate, has led us to reanalyze the potential of plant-based biofuels. Of the potential sources of biofuels the most efficient producers of biomass are the photosynthetic microalgae and cyanobacteria. These versatile organisms can be used for the production of bioethanol,…

Volume 23, Issue 3, 01 June 2012, Pp 346-351
Carla S. Jones | Stephen P. Mayfield

Clostridia: The importance of their exceptional substrate and metabolite diversity for biofuel and biorefinery applications

Clostridia are anaerobic Firmicutes producing a large array of metabolites by utilizing simple and complex carbohydrates, such as cellulose, as well as CO 2 /H 2 or CO. Their exceptional substrate diversity is enhanced by their ability to produce a broad spectrum of chemicals that can be used as precursors to or directly as biofuels and industrial chemicals. Genetic and genomic tools are under intense development, and recent efforts to metabolically engineer clostridia demonstrate their…

Volume 23, Issue 3, 01 June 2012, Pp 364-381
Bryan P. Tracy | Shawn W. Jones | Alan G. Fast | Dinesh C. Indurthi | Eleftherios T. Papoutsakis

Transcriptome analysis using next-generation sequencing

Up to date research in biology, biotechnology, and medicine requires fast genome and transcriptome analysis technologies for the investigation of cellular state, physiology, and activity. Here, microarray technology and next generation sequencing of transcripts (RNA-Seq) are state of the art. Since microarray technology is limited towards the amount of RNA, the quantification of transcript levels and the sequence information, RNA-Seq provides nearly unlimited possibilities in modern…

Volume 24, Issue 1, 01 February 2013, Pp 22-30
Kai Oliver Mutz | Alexandra Heilkenbrinker | Maren Lönne | Johanna Gabriela Walter | Frank Stahl

Microfluidics for single cell analysis

Substantial evidence shows that the heterogeneity of individual cells within a genetically identical population can be critical to their chance of survival. Methods that use average responses from a population often mask the difference from individual cells. To fully understand cell-to-cell variability, a complete analysis of an individual cell, from its live state to cell lysates, is essential. Highly sensitive detection of multiple components and high throughput analysis of a large number of…

Volume 23, Issue 1, 01 February 2012, Pp 110-119
Huabing Yin | Damian Marshall

TAG, You're it! Chlamydomonas as a reference organism for understanding algal triacylglycerol accumulation

Photosynthetic organisms are responsible for converting sunlight into organic matter, and they are therefore seen as a resource for the renewable fuel industry. Ethanol and esterified fatty acids (biodiesel) are the most common fuel products derived from these photosynthetic organisms. The potential of algae as producers of biodiesel precursor (or triacylglycerols (TAGs)) has yet to be realized because of the limited knowledge of the underlying biochemistry, cell biology and genetics.…

Volume 23, Issue 3, 01 June 2012, Pp 352-363
Sabeeha S. Merchant | Janette Kropat | Bensheng Liu | Johnathan Shaw | Jaruswan Warakanont

Salt resistant crop plants

Soil salinity is a major constraint to agriculture. To improve salinity tolerance of crops, various traits can be incorporated, including ion exclusion, osmotic tolerance and tissue tolerance. We review the roles of a range of genes involved in salt tolerance traits. Different tissues and cells are adapted for specific and often diverse function, so it is important to express the genes in specific cell-types and to pyramid a range of traits. Modern biotechnology (marker-assisted selection or…

Volume 26, Issue , 01 April 2014, Pp 115-124
Stuart J. Roy | Sónia Negrão | Mark Tester

TALE nucleases: Tailored genome engineering made easy

Custom-made designer nucleases have evolved into an indispensable platform to precisely alter complex genomes for basic research, biotechnology, synthetic biology, or human gene therapy. In this review we describe how transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) have rapidly developed into a chief technology for targeted genome editing in different model organisms as well as human stem cells. We summarize the technological background and provide an overview of the current…

Volume 23, Issue 5, 01 October 2012, Pp 644-650
Claudio Mussolino | Toni Cathomen

Next generation sequencing and bioinformatic bottlenecks: The current state of metagenomic data analysis

The recent technological advances in next generation sequencing have brought the field closer to the goal of reconstructing all genomes within a community by presenting high throughput sequencing at much lower costs. While these next-generation sequencing technologies have allowed a massive increase in available raw sequence data, there are a number of new informatics challenges and difficulties that must be addressed to improve the current state, and fulfill the promise of, metagenomics. ©…

Volume 23, Issue 1, 01 February 2012, Pp 9-15
Matthew B. Scholz | Chien Chi Lo | Patrick S G Chain

Bio-based production of chemicals, materials and fuels - Corynebacterium glutamicum as versatile cell factory

Since their discovery almost 60 years ago, Corynebacterium glutamicum and related subspecies are writing a remarkable success story in industrial biotechnology. Today, these gram-positive soil bacteria, traditionally well-known as excellent producers of l-amino acids are becoming flexible, efficient production platforms for various chemicals, materials and fuels. This development is intensively driven by systems metabolic engineering concepts integrating systems biology and synthetic biology…

Volume 23, Issue 4, 01 August 2012, Pp 631-640
Judith Becker | Christoph Wittmann

Electrobiocommodities: Powering microbial production of fuels and commodity chemicals from carbon dioxide with electricity

Electricity can be an energy source for microbially catalyzed production of fuels and other organic commodities from carbon dioxide. These electrobiocommodities (E-BCs) can be produced directly via electrode-to-microbe electron transfer or indirectly with electrochemically generated electron donors such as H 2 or formate. Producing E-BCs may be a more efficient and environmentally sustainable strategy for converting solar energy to biocommodities than approaches that rely on biological…

Volume 24, Issue 3, 01 June 2013, Pp 385-390
Derek R. Lovley | Kelly P. Nevin

Essential oils from aromatic herbs as antimicrobial agents

Bacterial resistance to multiple antibiotics is a health problem. Essential oils (EOs) possess antibacterial properties and have been screened as potential sources of novel antimicrobial compounds. Terpenes and terpenoids are components derived from EOs. Some of these EOs show inhibitory activity against Staphylococcus aureus. Carvacrol has specific effects on S. aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Perilla oil suppresses expression of α-toxin, Staphylococcus enterotoxin A and B and toxic…

Volume 23, Issue 2, 01 April 2012, Pp 136-141
Fortino Solórzano-Santos | Maria Guadalupe Miranda-Novales

Lipid metabolism in microalgae distinguishes itself

Microalgae are attracting renewed interest from both the scientific and public communities owing to their potential applications as sustainable feed stocks for the production of biofuels and high value compounds, and environmental remediation. Recent advances in molecular and biochemical analyses of microalgae point toward interesting differences in lipid metabolism between algal species and in comparison to plants. These differences range from distinct acyl groups present in algal lipids, to a…

Volume 24, Issue 2, 01 April 2013, Pp 300-309
Bensheng Liu | Christoph Benning

Potential of industrial biotechnology with cyanobacteria and eukaryotic microalgae

Both cyanobacteria and eukaryotic microalgae are promising organisms for sustainable production of bulk products such as food, feed, materials, chemicals and fuels. In this review we will summarize the potential and current biotechnological developments.Cyanobacteria are promising host organisms for the production of small molecules that can be secreted such as ethanol, butanol, fatty acids and other organic acids. Eukaryotic microalgae are interesting for products for which cellular storage is…

Volume 24, Issue 3, 01 June 2013, Pp 405-413
René H. Wijffels | Olaf Kruse | Klaas J. Hellingwerf

Editing plant genomes with CRISPR/Cas9

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. CRISPR/Cas9 is a rapidly developing genome editing technology that has been successfully applied in many organisms, including model and crop plants. Cas9, an RNA-guided DNA endonuclease, can be targeted to specific genomic sequences by engineering a separately encoded guide RNA with which it forms a complex. As only a short RNA sequence must be synthesized to confer recognition of a new target, CRISPR/Cas9 is a relatively cheap and easy to implement technology that has…

Volume 32, Issue , 01 January 2015, Pp 76-84
Khaoula Belhaj | Angela Chaparro-Garcia | Sophien Kamoun | Nicola J. Patron | Vladimir Nekrasov

Lignin plays a negative role in the biochemical process for producing lignocellulosic biofuels

A biochemical platform holds the most promising route toward lignocellulosic biofuels, in which polysaccharides are hydrolyzed by cellulase enzymes into simple sugars and fermented to ethanol by microbes. However, these polysaccharides are cross-linked in the plant cell walls with the hydrophobic network of lignin that physically impedes enzymatic deconstruction. A thermochemical pretreatment process is often required to remove or delocalize lignin, which may also generate inhibitors that…

Volume 27, Issue , 01 January 2014, Pp 98-45
Yining Zeng | Shuai Zhao | Shihui Yang | Shi You Ding

Antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phenolic activities in extra virgin olive oil

The Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower incidence of chronic degenerative diseases and higher life expectancy. These health benefits have been partially attributed to the dietary consumption of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) by Mediterranean populations, and more specifically the phenolic compounds naturally present in EVOO. Studies involving humans and animals (. in vivo and in vitro) have demonstrated that olive oil phenolic compounds have potentially beneficial biological effects…

Volume 23, Issue 2, 01 April 2012, Pp 129-135
S. Cicerale | L. J. Lucas | R. S.J. Keast

Metabolic engineering of yeast for production of fuels and chemicals

The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae offers many advantages as a platform cell factory for such applications. Already applied on a huge scale for bioethanol production, this yeast is easy to genetically engineer, its physiology, metabolism and genetics have been intensively studied and its robustness enables it to handle harsh industrial conditions. Introduction of novel pathways and optimization of its native cellular processes by metabolic engineering are rapidly expanding its range of…

Volume 24, Issue 3, 01 June 2013, Pp 398-404
Jens Nielsen | Christer Larsson | Antonius van Maris | Jack Pronk

Recent advances in understanding the role of cellulose accessibility in enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulosic substrates

Cellulose accessibility has been proposed as a key factor in the efficient bio-conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fermentable sugars. Factors affecting cellulose accessibility can be divided into direct factors that refer to accessible surface area of cellulose, and indirect factors referring to chemical composition such as lignin/hemicellulose content, and biomass structure-relevant factors (i.e. particle size, porosity). An overview of the current pretreatment technologies special focus…

Volume 27, Issue , 01 January 2014, Pp 150-158
Xianzhi Meng | Arthur Jonas Ragauskas

Recent progress in nanomedicine: Therapeutic, diagnostic and theranostic applications

In recent years, the use of nanomedicine formulations for therapeutic and diagnostic applications has increased exponentially. Many different systems and strategies have been developed for drug targeting to pathological sites, as well as for visualizing and quantifying important (patho-) physiological processes. In addition, ever more efforts have been undertaken to combine diagnostic and therapeutic properties within a single nanomedicine formulation. These so-called nanotheranostics are able…

Volume 24, Issue 6, 01 December 2013, Pp 1159-1166
Larissa Y. Rizzo | Benjamin Theek | Gert Storm | Fabian Kiessling | Twan Lammers

Recent advances in reconstruction and applications of genome-scale metabolic models

In the last decade, reconstruction and applications of genome-scale metabolic models have greatly influenced the field of systems biology by providing a platform on which high-throughput computational analysis of metabolic networks can be performed. The last two years have seen an increase in volume of more than 33% in the number of published genome-scale metabolic models, signifying a high demand for these metabolic models in studying specific organisms. The diversity in modeling different…

Volume 23, Issue 4, 01 August 2012, Pp 617-623
Tae Yong Kim | Seung Bum Sohn | Yu Bin Kim | Won Jun Kim | Sang Yup Lee

Microfluidic cell culture

Microfluidic techniques allow precise control of fluids and particles at the nanoliter scale and facilitate simultaneous manipulation and analysis of cultured cells, starting from a single cell to larger populations and to intact tissues. The use of integrated microfluidic devices has considerably advanced the fields of quantitative and systems biology. In this review, we survey the recent developments in microfluidic cell culture, and discuss not only the advantages but also limitations of…

Volume 25, Issue , 01 January 2014, Pp 95-102
Matthias Mehling | Savaş Tay

Systems and synthetic metabolic engineering for amino acid production - the heartbeat of industrial strain development

With a world market of more than four million tons per year, l-amino acids are among the most important products in industrial biotechnology. The recent years have seen a tremendous progress in the development of tailor-made strains for such products, intensively driven from systems metabolic engineering, which upgrades strain engineering into a concept of optimization on a global scale. This concept seems especially valuable for efficient amino acid production, demanding for a global…

Volume 23, Issue 5, 01 October 2012, Pp 718-726
Judith Becker | Christoph Wittmann