What is Synthetic Biology?
Synthetic biology combines the facts we’ve learned in biology textbooks with the tried and true principles of engineering so we can make and model useful living systems. The best-case scenario: we make novel systems that work reliably and address important world problems. The worst case: the systems we build fail the first time, and the second, and the third – possibly in surprising or dangerous ways. At this early stage, both the successes and the failures teach us a great deal, and while we still have a long way to go before it’s easy to genetically program cells to perform particular tasks, we learn by trying and ultimately advance everyone’s understanding in this emerging field.