When biology became engineering: Adopting standards for living systems


For decades, molecular biologists have been removing or inserting genes into all kinds of organisms with biotechnological intent or simply to generate fundamental knowledge. Synthetic biology (SynBio) goes one step further by incorporating conceptual frameworks from computing, electronics, and industrial design. This change makes it possible to conceive the creation of complex biological objects that were previously considered too difficult to assemble. To do this, the stages of any industrial production process must be adopted: design, construction of the components, assembly, and final manufacture. This objective requires standardisation of the physical and functional formats of the components involved, DNA assembly methods, activity measurements, and descriptive languages.


synthetic biology; standards; repressilator; repository; orthogonality

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