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Engineering Biology
Synthetic Biology is a discipline concerned with the rational design and engineering of biology. Invariably, synthetic biologists work to create complex biologically-based (or biologically-inspired) systems which bring different useful functions from nature together in a new organism, or alternatively they create entirely new functions that do not exist in nature. Synthetic biologists apply engineering perspectives to what has traditionally been a descriptive subject. Whereas naturalists and biologists studied and reported on nature's systems (whether they were whole organisms or biological molecules), the synthetic biologist leverages this understanding to manipulate nature's systems across the hierarchy of biological structures—from individual molecules to whole cells, tissues and organisms. The level that synthetic biologists typically work is the molecular or genetic code level. In essence, synthetic biology enables the practitioner to design ‘biological systems' in a rational and systematic way.   

 Synthetic Biology combines the sciences of genetics, molecular biology, mechanical engineering, general and biological informatics, design and philosophy. It is crucial that we all speak the same language, but in order to do so we have to learn the vocabulary. This entire section is about explaining the different aspects of those sciences and guide you from the general into the specific.

Reading DNA

Understand how we read DNA and interpret what it codes for. Learn about what humans can do by being able to read the programming code optimized by evolution for billions of years.

Understanding & Analyzing DNA

No human is naturally capable of understanding the sheer complexity of biological systems. Learn how we use computers, machine learning and databases to decode the DNA which we can read using DNA sequencing tools

Engineering DNA

Get to know the technical background and the tools we use to (re)engineer synthetic cells both in the lab or right on the computer.

Printing DNA

Learn how DNA synthesis works, and what it currently costs to "print DNA".

Engineering Organisms

Using the techniques described in the previous sections, we have designed and synthesised new DNA. Now you're ready for cell engineering - the process used to transfer new DNA into an organism and modify its existing systems for new effects.

Testing & Validation Techniques

As with every programming language, genetic engineering often requires refining existing strategies to achieve the perfect outcome. Learn about testing strategies, automated, robotic wet labs and how to get new new organisms up and running at peak efficiency.

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Scaling for Mass Production

Once you have a novel, working organism you will want to produce more of their output. 

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About the author

View full profile Jérôme Lutz from Berlin & Munich, Germany

I like to share the great things I discover daily while researching and working in the field of Synthetic Biology.

When I talk to people about it, they often refer to Science Fiction. However, when I send them links to this wiki and they read through those pages, they start understanding that this is real and it's happening right now.