Synthetic Biology is focused on the design and construction of new biological elements such as enzymes, genetic circuits, cells or whole organisms. It is an exponentially growing field where biology is considered as a technology. Molecular biologists team up with software coders, mechanical engineers and designers to reengineer living systems.
How to get into Synthetic Biology?
#1 Learn the Language of Biology
Understanding the language biologists speak - With this Chrome Browser Extension all the funky words will be highlighted and one click away you find the definition and videos explaining it.
#2 Understand Genetics and how to Engineer Biology
Genetics is an enormous field formed of many specialities, and can be confusing to the newcomer, but it is perhaps best to think of it as a descriptive engineering discipline concerned with how organisms create the information systems that define how they execute the process of life itself.
To appreciate the importance of genetics, you will first need to know about the central dogma of biology: DNA codes for RNA which is translated into proteins, which are the biological 'machines' at work in cells.
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.
#3 Get Excited by what People Build with SynBio
Health & Medicine
The Health and Medicine Sector is now about to learn the fundamentals of live be truly understanding the genetic code that causes diseases or malfunctions. Also, the constantly falling prices of DNA reading will enable a personalized medicine where a doctor - with the support of big data - will be able to tailor the medical procurement by e.g. predict if a certain drug will cause the desired response.
Industry & Chemicals
Industrial use of Synthetic Biology will produce new means for synthesizing existing or completely new chemicals. One day, there might be no more need for huge chemical facilities, instead bio reactors containing tailor made synthetic cells will be capable of producing the end product in one step.
Food & Agriculture
The Food and Agriculture market has already benefiting from Biotech inventions over the last 30 years. Today, 85% of all crops on the fields are already genetically optimized. However, the standardization and modularization of Synthetic Biology will allow far more advances in this market than ever before.
Synthetic Biology will not only disrupt existing markets but create plenty of completely new markets. Being able to recombine modules from the programming language of life, we will for sure come up with new use cases that didn't exist yet. Just think of the new markets that computers and the internet have brought us.
#4 Get Involved
Every month, SynBio enthusiasts from all backgrounds meet for dinner and beers in Munich - Feel free to join!
Every month, SynBio enthusiasts from all backgrounds meet for dinner and beers in London - Feel free to join!
Ready to jump into the industry? Even if not yet, join our Facebook Group SynBio Jobs and stay tuned on the latest job offers.
Our Community is about people and Slack is where you get to know everyone, discuss topics and get answers.
You should know about this industry and learning by doing is simply the best way to do so. So start doing your research and write down what you find in our collective brain, synbio.info. Add pages and edit where ever you can contribute or correct.