Synthetic biology cheat sheet: Key players, big debates and lingo you should know

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Key Players

J. Craig Venter: After playing an important role in early efforts to sequence the human genome, Venter now heads the J. Craig Venter Institute, whose work involves, among other things, research on synthetic life forms.

Christopher Voigt: Voigt is an MIT biological engineer who has worked at the intersection of synthetic biology and CRSIPR gene editing technology.

Debates

Boundaries of species: Synthetic biologists sometimes take genetic material from one species and implant it in another. Will such transplantations challenge our ability to make sense of the unnatural world?

Regulatory uncertainty: At present, there are few to no legal standards specific to the practice of synthetic biology. Are we courting environmental or medical disaster in the absence of such norms?

Lingo

BioBricks: DNA strings designed to be pieced together in synthetic biology applications.

CRISPR: A genetic editing technique that involves copying and pasting strings of DNA.

Synthetic biology: An interdisciplinary research field that combines the insights of computer science, engineering, genetics, and cellular biology in an effort to reshape the building blocks of life.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original: Your Cheat-Sheet Guide to Synthetic Biology