Synthetic Biology

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“Since the dawn of civilization, humans have been builders and engineers, constructing houses from bricks, machines from metals and now genomes from nucleotides.” (Wang 2010)

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What is Synthetic Biology?

  • “I believe that the capacity to synthesize and construct DNA is currently the number one most important technology of the 21st century,” Drew Endy, bioengineer at Stanford University, director at BIOFAB International (qtd. in Hsu 2010a).
  • You should be able to make cells do and produce things that nothing in nature has ever done or produced before (Mooallem 2010).
Synthetic Biology Concept Explained (May 28, 2008)
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  • Synthetic biology is the production or redesign of biological systems via the generation of novel DNA segments absent in nature (Hsu 2010b; NSF 2010).
  • The de novo synthesis of DNA sequences, may used to produce biological parts, or biological components, such as: enzymes, genetic circuits, and metabolic pathways. The assembly of these parts may permit the creation of organisms capable of performing functions not necessarily found in nature (Keasling 2008; Katsnelson 2010; NSF 2010).

Synthetic cells (Gibson et al. 2010)