An introduction to Synthetic biology: Engineering biology What is synthetic biology? It is an attempt to engineer biology. It is not metablolic engineering, it is not process engineering, it is not cancer cell engineering..it is an approach to make those sort of things. It is not the particular application..it is the method or approach to utilize a particular application. To put it in other words synthetic biology is’nt about making a particular thing.. it is how you make something. Drew EndyProfessor, Stanford University The final goal is to be able to design biological systems in the same way engineers design electronic or mechanical systems.
Why do we need it? Synthetic Biology Cells are the ultimate Chemical Factory.
Is it achievable? 1- Biology is hierarchical
Is it achievable? 2- Biology is Modular
Is it achievable? Hierarchy and Modular (recurrent) organization allows biology to be understandable and synthetic biology to be possible.
A possible hierarchy for synthetic biology
Synthetic Biology as Engineering Standard Parts Parts should not have multiple functions (One subunit of T7 phage DNA polymerase is actually E. coli thioredoxin) Parts should not encode multiple functions
Synthetic Biology as Engineering Standard PartsDifferent parts should be compatibleParts should work in different contexts
Synthetic Biology as Engineering Standard PartsStandardized parts could be easily exchanged between different devices(as well as between different laboratories)
Synthetic Biology as Engineering Abstraction Systems Devices Parts DNA TGCATGCTGATATACGGCTCGATAbstraction hierarchies are a human invention designed to assist people inengineering very complex systems by ignoring unnecessary details.
How the journey began…iGEM began in 2003 when Drew Endy (now at Stanford University), Tom Knight andseveral MIT students spent the month of January trying to design standardizedbiological parts to create bacteria that blink on and off like a light switch.Today, synthetic biology envisions the impossible... from bacterial photography tobiological LCD screens.SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY IS HAPPENING..AND ITS HAPPENING NOW!