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Synthetic Biology: Implications and Uses

  1. Sanjay Vashee,
  2. Mikkel A. Algire,
  3. Michael G. Montague,
  4. Michele S. Garfinkel

Published Online: 10 OCT 2011

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.200300154.pub2

Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Vashee, S., Algire, M. A., Montague, M. G. and Garfinkel, M. S. 2011. Synthetic Biology: Implications and Uses. Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. J. Craig Venter Institute, Synthetic Biology, Rockville, MD, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 10 OCT 2011

Abstract

Synthetic biology is an effort to construct and engineer biological systems, ranging from individual genetic elements, to biosynthetic pathways, to whole organisms. The results of these engineering efforts can be of great value to human interests such as medicine and industry. In this chapter, advances in DNA assembly technologies are reviewed, and how these advanced DNA assembly technologies, in conjunction with the application of engineering principles such as modular parts, have facilitated the rational engineering of organisms to obtain desired functions or to understand complex cellular behavior, are highlighted. The recent creation of a synthetic cell is also described. Finally, the societal concerns posed by synthetic biology are discussed.

Keywords:

  • Synthetic biology;
  • Synthetic cell;
  • DNA assembly;
  • Circuits;
  • Compartmentalization