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Tell Me a Story About Synthetic Biology

More Americans know about synthetic biology, according to a survey from the Wilson Center Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. Some 22 percent of adults indicate they have heard a lot or some about synthetic biology—that’s up from only 9 percent last [...]

The Coolest Platform Raises the Hardest Questions

So who is speaking here, an ethicist, a scientist, or a policymaker? It’s very hard for me to have a conversation about these issues, because people adopt incredibly defensive postures…The scientists on one side and civil-society organizations on the other. [...]

LIFE SCIENCES

Synthetic Biology

Synthetic biology is on the brink of two noteworthy accomplishments: to be able to “streamline” and redesign the genetic material of living organisms to make them operate more efficiently; and to design and assemble entirely new, artificial life forms from scratch. But a lengthy list of potential risks, as well as broad scientific and social concerns, are largely unaddressed.

The Dish: Sampling the Blogs

petri dishA quick look at some of the policy-related posts in the science and technology blogosphere: synthetic biology, the lack of science coverage on cable news networks, drug-resistant antibiotics, and rethinking the drug development process.

Synthetic Biology News Roundup

Nucleic acidPress coverage of last week’s announcement from the J. Craig Venter Institute that researchers have built the first synthetic genome focused on synthetic cells as potential fuel factories, carbon dioxide sinks, biological weapons, ecosystem ravagers, and ego boosters.