Someone once said that if you were to ask five synthetic biologists to define their field, you would get six different answers. Part of this is because synthetic biology has evolved from the work of a number of different fields. A multidisciplinary effort, it calls biologists, engineers, software developers, and others to collaborate on finding ways to understand how genetic parts work together, and then to combine them to produce useful applications. New to synthetic biology? The articles and videos below offer an overview of the field.
Synthetic Biology Explained: Putting the Engineering Back into Genetic Engineering (2011)
Written, animated and directed by James Hutson, Bridge8
From selective breeding to genetic modification, our understanding of biology is now merging with the principles of engineering to bring us synthetic biology.
Drew Endy Responds to "What is Synthetic Biology"
This informal interview takes place in Synberc PI Drew Endy's office in the Bioengineering Department at Stanford University.
Five Hard Truths for Synthetic Biology
Can engineering approaches tame the complexity of living systems?
Published online 20 January 2010 | Nature 463, 288-290 (2010) | doi:10.1038/463288a
Where Will Synthetic Biology Lead Us?
The New Yorker Magazine | Sept. 28, 2009 | By Michael Specter
An in-depth look at Synberc Director Jay Keasling's search for a way to make artemisinin via synthetic biology.
Wired Magazine | Jan. 2005 |By Oliver Morton
A group of MIT engineers wanted to model the biological world. But, damn, some of nature's designs were complicated! So they started rebuilding from the ground up - and gave birth to synthetic biology.