WHAT HAVE SYNTHETIC BIOLOGISTS ACHIEVED?
Real examples of exciting developments in synthetic biology.
Antimalarial drugs harvested from yeast and bacteria instead of plants.
Living colour from bacteria. A colourful collaboration between designers and scientists.
J. Craig Venter
In 2003 the first virus was made from synthetic DNA, and in 2010 the first bacterial cell.
WHAT MIGHT SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY ACHIEVE TOMORROW?
Examples of research currently in progress.
Long Now Foundation
Restoring DNA and reviving the extinct Passenger pigeon from museum specimens.
NASA research into "Bug Boxes", inventedd to help humans settle on alien worlds.
Highlighting developments in technologies and costs of DIYBio as of 2010.
WHAT CAN I DO?
The iGEM - International Genetically Engineered Machine - competition is an international competition hosted by MIT that encourages aspiring young scientists to get involved in the exciting world of Synthetic Biology. The idea is to work with standardised 'parts': pieces of genetic code that are well characterised and fit together in a predictable way. You should therefore be able to mix and match parts, kind of like Lego blocks (sometimes they are called BioBricks), so that when you express the genes in bacteria you will know what the outcome will be. In iGEM, all teams must construct and submit their own parts to compete, and we all come together at the end of the year to share our work at MIT in Boston. Did you know that there is a competition for High School Students too? Be sure to check it out and see how your school can get involved!