The All New Synthetic

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Randy Rettberg is building an industry -- or at least he's trying. While interest in synthetic biology continues to grow by leaps and bounds, its use in real-world science has remained fairly minimal. Synthetic biology, or the goal of developing an engineering discipline that can build biological systems in the way that other engineers can build chemical or computational systems, is still young. "I think that the field is very, very early," says Rettberg at MIT. While it's 2007 for the rest of us, "in many ways it's much more like 1850 in this corner of the world.

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