- The Loom
Can E. coli Save the World?
2009 may be the year in which synthetic biology finally goes mainstream.
There have been plenty of articles about synthetic biology–reprogramming cells by inserting new genes and tweaking the connections between their own genes–over the past few years. (Here is one of mine.) But apparently most people are not paying attention. In a recent poll, most Americans said they had no clue what synthetic biology is.
Synthetic biology is important in part because it’s a new tool scientists are using to get at some basic questions about how life works. But, as I explained in my book Microcosm, it’s also important because it may open a new chapter in the history of biotechnology. Biologists can reprogram cells