Synthetic Biology


We are entering a new world, the world of synthetic biology. It could provide more effective therapies, cheaper medicines, easily recyclable new materials, biofuels, bacteria able to degrade toxic substances from the environment. It enables the manufacture of useful products from renewable sources - agricultural or domestic wastes - rather than fossil - coal, oil or gas.

Synthetic biology emerged about 2005, and is now a fast moving field. It is defined as the rational engineering of biology, aiming to design new biological systems. Synthetic biology will a dvance our knowledge of living organisms and will develop many industrial applications in the areas of health, energy, materials, environment and agriculture.

The current achievements of synthetic biology include a diagnosis system able to monitor annually some 400 000 AIDS or hepatitis patients and the synthesis of artemisinin, a highly effective anti-malarial drug. In 2015, an American non-governmental organization listed 116 products or industrial technologies that have been commercialized or on their way to market.

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