There are three versions of synthetic biology, writes University of Cambridge graduate student SE Gould in a guest blog at Scientific American. The first she says is Drew Endy and Tom Knight's biobrick concept from that says "that manipulatable biological parts should be standardized, to be used like nuts and bolts in machinery." Second, there is the approach that is "more concerned with affecting the output" of cells, she says, particularly for use in drug production. Finally, there is the most-talked about type: Craig Venter's work to create synthetic genomes. Although public concern about synthetic biology is increasing, Gould says that the field is "synthetic biology is an exciting and fast-moving field to get involved in" and that "proper monitoring" will help allay those fears.
A Synthetic Biology Primer
Nov 10, 2010