13 January 2007

Some flowery text on what Synthetic Biology is

Synthetic biology is a natural outgrowth of systems biology in the same way that molecular biotechnology was a natural outgrowth of molecular biology. That is, the molecular biology revolution (in the 1950s and 1960s) led to the discovery of the main molecular actors, thus paving the way for the fields of genetic and molecular engineering in the late 1970s and early 1980s (Goujon, 2001). At present, biology is undergoing another transition, first defining molecular and cellular systems in the context of systems biology and then using these to build new functionalities in the framework of synthetic biology (Arkin & Fletcher, 2006; Endy, 2006; Cassman, 2005; Vidal, 2001; Ge et al., 2003; Kitano, 2002a,b). One the main issues in early synthetic biology is developing sets of standard, interoperable, composable biological parts for manipulation (parts.mit.edu; Endy, 2005).

from wikipedia :

Systems biology is an academic field that seeks to integrate high-throughput biological studies to understand how biological systems function. By studying the relationships and interactions between various parts of a biological system (e.g. metabolic pathways, organelles, cells, physiological systems, organisms etc.) it is hoped that eventually an understandable model of the whole system can be developed.

from wikipedia :

Synthetic biology aims to create novel biological functions and tools by modifying or integrating well-characterized biological components (i.e. genes, promoters) into higher order genetic networks using mathematical modeling to direct the construction towards the desired end product.