Synthetic Biology : An Emerging Technology Essay

1170 Words Apr 13th, 2015 5 Pages
As you have heard, synthetic biology is an emerging technology that has made great advancements in a short amount of time. Though the public’s capacity to imagine misuse scenarios as a result of new developments in synthetic biology are vast, in reality institutional and structural capacities remain limited. Taking these limitations into account, synthetic biology still has an incredible amount of potential. This potential has implications for how America addresses its security concerns in the future. The synthetic biology community and field is and has taken these concerns seriously; much of the groundwork for a strong security framework has been thought through. XXXX
Overview and History of Synthetic Biology Synthetic biology is a form of bioengineering that focuses on designing and building biological parts, devices, and systems. At its core, synthetic biology is about the ability to design DNA. It is a process that uses the skills of biologists and engineers to redesign biological systems and utilize them for alternative purposes. One of its main goals is to “make biological systems work more efficiently or to design biological tools for specific applications.” Though it seems to be in realm of science fiction, synthetic biology is not a new field. Rather, synthetic biology builds up decades of work that reaches back to the 1860s when Gregor Mendel first described the role of genes. Scientists conceptually understood DNA in the 1940s; James Watson, Francis Crick, and…

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