The New York Times magazine this past weekend looked into the burgeoning world of do-it-yourself synthetic biology. The article follows a team of students from San Francisco's City College that entered the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition at MIT. The students embarked on building a battery powered by bacteria. To do so, they had to engineer the bacteria so that it would release some of the sugar it makes to fuel the battery and they ran into plenty of obstacles along the way. While they didn't win the competition, “the fact that a community college can participate,” Drew Endy notes in the article, “is a sign that we are succeeding.
Feb 16, 2010