Synthetic Biology: the Dawn of a New Era
The advent of digital technology is considered one of the biggest revolutions of all time for how quickly and deeply it changed the world forever. However, I am about to convince you that an even more powerful revolution is coming, which goes under the name of synthetic biology. The potential of this discipline is very well understood in the biological scientific world, but it is now time that we made the general public increasingly more aware of the positive impact it will have on our lives.
What is synthetic biology (or synbio)? This can be quite a complex question to answer because this branch of science brings together people from many different fields (scientific and not) with the common goal of engineering, rewriting and standardizing the complexity of life.
An engineer is defined as a person who designs, builds, or maintains engines and machines. Imagine applying the engineering skills to a biological system: wow!
Biological life is a beautiful and complex world, and we are still very far from comprehending its origins or purpose. Nevertheless, we now know enough to be able to look at it as we would look at an ensemble of complex microscopic machines made of biological parts and engines. Every living cell is a little world in itself with tightly controlled and regulated mechanisms. Once understood, these mechanisms can be used to improve our quality of life. The beauty of synbio is its applicability to solving different problems of our modern society from bioremediation to sustainable energy production, molecular medicine or material science.
Dr. Venter and his efforts towards creating the first artificial form of life are famous in the synbio world. Venter’s team might not have “created life” from scratch as yet, but they sure have succeeded in transforming one species of bacteria into —> Read More