Researchers have created a computer program that will open a challenging field in synthetic biology to the entire world. In the past decade, billions of dollars have been spent on technology that can quickly and inexpensively read and write DNA to synthesize and manipulate polypeptides and proteins.
Scientist Andrew Hessel explains the exciting possibilities of synthetic biology, including the potential to move from blockbuster drugs to a pipeline of personalized medicines. In so doing, he makes a case for his ambition to “genetically engineer everything in the world.” For more information, visit poptech.org.
The next time you stop by your local supermarket, take a long, hard look at the yellow bananas in the produce section. That’s because bananas might be extinct within just a few years, say Dutch researchers, and that could open the door for synthetic biologists to come up with a new, synthetically modified banana to replace the yellow Cavendish banana we’ve come to know and love.
Collaborating with designers, who sometimes take a highly conceptual approach, can help scientists to envisage exciting new ideas and applications. A good example of this is the work of Victoria Geaney, a designer who worked with synthetic biology students at Imperial College London to bring together the worlds of Fashion and Science.
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