What is Synthetic biology: Definition and 13 Discussions

Synthetic biology (SynBio) is a multidisciplinary area of research that seeks to create new biological parts, devices, and systems, or to redesign systems that are already found in nature.
It is a branch of science that encompasses a broad range of methodologies from various disciplines, such as biotechnology, genetic engineering, molecular biology, molecular engineering, systems biology, membrane science, biophysics, chemical and biological engineering, electrical and computer engineering, control engineering and evolutionary biology.
Due to more powerful genetic engineering capabilities and decreased DNA synthesis and sequencing costs, the field of synthetic biology is rapidly growing. In 2016, more than 350 companies across 40 countries were actively engaged in synthetic biology applications; all these companies had an estimated net worth of $3.9 billion in the global market.

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  1. A

    How far are we from producing artificial cells in the lab?

    Synthetic biology is a rapidly growing field of science that aims at redesigning organisms for medical and agricultural applications, by means of biotechnology, genetic engineering, molecular biology and other methods by chemical, biological or computer engineering. As far as I understand it...
  2. BillTre

    Synthetic Biology, What Might It Do?

    Here is an NY Times article on Drew Endy, synthetic biology evangelist. (I like hearing what's going on the this field from time to time.) As biological techniques continue to progress more becomes possible from a go out and change it point of view. There are many opinions about this, as...
  3. Ygggdrasil

    Scientists engineer E. coli that eats carbon dioxide

    E. coli is one of the best studied and most widely used bacteria in biotechnology. This week, published in the journal Cell, researchers report having engineered the bacterium to be able to generate all of its carbon from CO2, opening the way toward using these bacteria for replacement of...
  4. Ygggdrasil

    New CRISPR-based tool for find-and-replace editing of DNA

    Over the past half decade, researchers have envisioned the https://www.physicsforums.com/insights/dont-fear-https://www.physicsforums.com/insights/dont-fear-crispr-new-gene-editing-technologies-wont-lead-designer-babies/-new-gene-editing-technologies-wont-lead-designer-babies/system as a way to...
  5. Ygggdrasil

    Synthesis of a re-designed E. coli genome

    All organism on Earth use a genetic code consisting of 64 three-letter codons to encode the 20 amino acids found in proteins. Scientists in the field of synthetic biology have long sought to expand the genetic code to allow encoding of more than 20 natural amino acids found in most organisms...
  6. Ygggdrasil

    Researchers double the size of the DNA alphabet

    Published this week in the journal Science, researchers report that they have devised a eight letter alphabet for DNA and RNA: The work builds off of previous work, which had expanded the genetic alphabet to six letters. The researchers call their eight-lettered nucleic acids "hachimoji,"...
  7. Ygggdrasil

    Semi-synthetic organism with an expanded genetic code

    All life on Earth stores its genetic information in DNA using just four nucleotide letters: A, T, C, and G. Research published this week in the journal Nature describes how scientists engineered a bacterium to incorporate two new letters into their DNA (which they call X and Y, pictured below)...
  8. Ygggdrasil

    Bacterium with a Minimal Genome

    How many genes does it take to make a living organism? Scientists at the J Craig Venter Institute published a paper today in the journal Science describing the design and synthesis of a bacteria containing the minimal set of genes required for that organism to live. Their work leverages their...
  9. A

    Which Schools Offer Programs in Genetic Engineering and Synthetic Biology?

    Does anyone know of any prominent schools that offer programs that focus mostly on genetic engineering and synthetic biology? I have reviewed biological engineering programs of a few schools and the curricula comprising their programs seem to lack focus with this respect. Perhaps, graduate...
  10. K

    Synthetic Biology Inquiry - What?

    Synthetic Biology Inquiry -- What?! Hey everyone, I wonder if there are any geneticists out there. I am quite uneducated pertaining to biology. So please bear with me. As I understand it, GMOs are living beings that have had traits inserted into their DNA, ie, arctic fish genes inserted into...
  11. S

    Synthetic biology, where can I learn more?

    I've recently read an interesting article on the NY Times about an MIT competition on synthetic biology. A determined team about from a community college managed to get there. Good read. But what I would like to know is where can I find more information about this? * What are some good...
  12. H

    Can Scientists Synthesize a Full Cell and Is an Empty Cell Considered Alive?

    Dear all Now -- as you all know -- scientists have reached the ability to synthesize a full DNA. My question is: Is it scientifically possible to synthesize a full cell? Can scientists do it? And if yes, when scientists can possibly reach that stage? Another question please: When...
  13. Ivan Seeking

    Misc. Do it yourself synthetic biology

    "Do it yourself" synthetic biology http://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/technology/index.html http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/science/july-dec08/diybio_12-30.html