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November 10, 2010 / Martijn

Synthetic biology: Building machines from DNA

Synthetic biology is a science that lies at the intersection of biology and engineering – and is therefore quite an intriguing subject for a microbiologist to venture into. The microbiologist is used to seeing cells as complex and exciting organisms to explore and DNA as the starting point at which to begin those explorations. Within the discipline of synthetic biology however the cell becomes a chassis in which to carry out engineering tasks, and the DNA the building blocks used to design intracellular machines. Although synthetic biology has been practised in different forms throughout the century, the recent increase in DNA synthesis technology development means that small genetic circuits are far easier and cheaper to make, making synthetic biology more appealing to microbiologists who want to create their own intracellular devices.



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