Synthetic Biology: Temporary Expert assignment

Synthetic Biology Basics:

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This temporary expert assignment has students researching a topic related to some aspect of biological sciences and then reporting back on various aspects of it. The topic that I was assigned is Synthetic Biology.

What is synthetic biology?

From a very high level, synthetic biology is two things. The first being the understanding of biological processes through their reconstruction instead of dissection/destruction. It is also the process of facilitating biological processes with new functionalities.

Use DNA to write “functional components” that run in cells instead of computers

  • Basically genetic engineering

  • DNA synthesized

  • Sugar syhthesizes the DNA

Example of this

new proteins introduced to a cell to create bioluminescence functionality.

Things I have found exciting

  • The comparison between synthetic biology and electrical engineering is very evident.

  • Digital Logic is heavily used in the creation of the “biological circuits”

  • “programming” cells

  • Ski jacket created from synthetic spider silk

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