Synthetic Biology 101

This exciting field is evolving so rapidly that no widely accepted definitions yet exist. Common to many explanations is the idea of synthetic biology as the application of engineering principles to the fundamental components of biology. But what does that mean, exactly? Below you will find a variety of resources designed to both help provide …

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Seven Myths and Realities about Do-It-Yourself Biology

Survey of the DIYbio Community As the do-it-yourself biology (DIYbio) community has grown, so have concerns about the ability of these amateur scientists to wield DNA and manipulate life. In the words of one Wall Street Journal headline, “In Attics and Closets, ‘Biohackers’ Discover their Inner Frankenstein.” But in a first-ever survey of the DIYbio …

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What is Synthetic Biology?

Defining the concept This exciting field is evolving so rapidly that no widely accepted definitions exist. Common to many explanations is the idea of synthetic biology as the application of engineering principles to the fundamental components of biology. All living organisms contain an instruction set that determines what they look like and what they do. …

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The DNA of the U.S. Regulatory System: Are We Getting It Right for Synthetic Biology?

The pathway to market for new products utilizing synthetic biology can be difficult to navigate, posing a challenge for companies in their efforts to commercialize new ideas, while the novelty posed by some of these products can make it difficult for regulatory agencies to evaluate risks, according to a new report from the Synthetic Biology …

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The Synthetic Biology Project at the Wilson Center: Eight Years of Engagement and Analysis

The Synthetic Biology Project was launched in 2008 to ensure that, as synthetic biology moves forward, public confidence in the science and applications remains high, policymakers are informed, and any risks are minimized. To achieve that goal, the project worked with the scientific community in both academia and industry, and with stakeholders in government, NGOs, …

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