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Synthetic Biology Research

MIT Stata Center_051118
(MIT Ray and Maria Stata Center, Jenny Fowter)



Synthetic biology, Biotech, the next generation, is the design and construction of new biological parts, devices, and systems, and the re-design of existing, natural biological systems for useful purposes. It aims at the (re-)design and fabrication of biological components and systems that do not already exist in the natural world. This multidisciplinary field of science and technology promises to unlock new solutions to some of the world’s most vexing problems, from food security to climate change to cancer treatment. 

Synthetic biology combines disciplines from within these domains, 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. Synthetic biology applies these disciplines to build artificial biological systems for research, engineering and medical applications. 

Synthetic biology efforts advance the use of cell-free systems for the preparation of proteins and metabolites and for the definition of metabolic networks. Primarily, these technology advancement efforts focus on understanding the organization and behavior of plant and microbial systems, with an emphasis on defining the chemical environment and molecular mechanisms that promote productive interfaces between plants and bacteria.

Synthetic biology uses genetic tools like gene editing to engineer new biological products and processes; increasing standardization and automation of these tools makes synthetic biology increasingly accurate and efficient.


[More to come ...]

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