Synthetic Biology

by Matthias Dean

What is Synthetic Biology?

Synthetic Biology is Genetic Engineering 2.0. Like Genetic Engineering, Synthetic Biology modifies and helps the organisms that are being experimented on. Scientists that are practicing Synthetic Biology hope to collect, refine, and rearrange DNA so it makes later experiments less complex. Another way to look at it is they wish to change the DNA makeup of an organism, and then build things with that DNA.
Synthetic Biology Explained

Histoy of Synthetic Biology

In the 1990's scientists began to dive deep into researching the engineering of microorganisms. This science was originally called Systems Biology. Systems Biology was the development and engineering to create, control and program how cells behave. Since the 90's the name Systems Biology has been dropped and replaced by Synthetic Biology. In the 90's a big breakthrough was the ability to complete the genome sequence of E. coli. Humans and other animals have E. coli in their intestines. In 2006 a type of bacteria was engineered to invade cancer cells.

How Does Synthetic Biology Affect Us?

Synthetic Biologists aim to make our future better. One of the main areas that Synthetic Biology is affecting our lives is in the health industry. Scientists are developing new was to fight diseases that affect us and and people around us. Synthetic Biologists are creating new ways to battle infections. They are doing this by making new vaccinations and other methods of treating illness. They are also developing new was to create and kill cells. A type of cell that these scientists are trying to fight is cancer cells.

Ethical Issues With Synthetic Biology

All scientists have to be ethical. They need to think about the world around them and what their discoveries could mean to the world. Whenever a new discovery is made or a new technology is put into use precautions have to be set in place. One of the major concerns that comes along with Synthetic Biology is our biosafety and biosecurity. Scientists need to make sure to not dramatically alter the genetic code. If they were to make a alteration it could result in a significant loss of biological integrity. This could compromise the health of many people and animals. Scientists need to make sure they are ethical in their research and experiments.

What Does The Future Look Like For Synthetic Biology?

Synthetic Biologists aim to make our future better. They are working on new biological systems that will rid of deadly diseases. Getting rid of things is not their only goal, they also wish to create a replacement for nonrenewable resources. The possibilities are endless when it comes to what Scientists could do with this technology in the future. It could range from the creation of more effective medicines, cheaper fuel, or even making a trees glow!


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