Synthetic Biology Explained

Synthetic Biology Explained

Synthetic biology is a broad term that refers to designing and constructing organisms for some useful purpose. By this broad definition, agriculture would qualify as "synthetic biology", but more narrowly, the term usually applies to genetic manipulation of bacteria to perform some role as "living factories". 

Current StatusEdit

Bacteria have been modified to be used as biosensors to detect pollution, viruses, bacteria, hormones, drugs, and DNA sequences. Craig Venter, who led one of the teams that first sequenced the human genome, is focusing all his efforts on synthetic biology. As the initial step, his organization, the Venter Institute, created a virus with the minimal genome necessary for life, Mycoplasma genitalium

Future DirectionsEdit

Craig Venter has claimed the synthetic biology will transform energy, by engineering bacteria or viruses which cheaply produce biofuel from inexpensive feedstocks.

Further ReadingEdit

Craig Venter’s Bugs Might Save the World