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Synthesizing Synthetic Biology

PLOS One has launched the Synthetic Biology Collection — a set of more than 50 papers that the journal has published since 2006 on DNA synthesis and assembly, the development of libraries of biological parts, protein engineering, network and pathway analysis, and the like.

The PLOS One Community Blog notes that "the heavily interdisciplinary nature" of synthetic biology research "can make it difficult to publish in traditional discipline-specific journals," but the broad scope of PLOS One "allows for the publication of work crossing many traditional research boundaries, making it an ideal venue for many different types of synthetic biology research."

The collection will be updated as relevant articles are published in the journal.

An overview of the collection, authored by Jean Peccoud and Mark Isalan, says that the papers are organized into broad categories: DNA synthesis and assembly; biological parts; protein engineering; networks and pathways; synthetic life; software and modeling; and instruments.

They add that "since many synthetic biology papers cited in this review span more than one category, it was sometimes difficult to assign them to one category rather than another. Nonetheless, this structure should aid in navigating the 50+ papers currently included in the collection."

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