Synthetic biology is a biotechnology field that focuses on engineering cellular systems so that they can be applied in basic science, production of alternative energy and in medicine. This study field encompasses different disciplines, methodologies and approaches with an aim of engineering biotechnology and biology.
An Emerging Technology
As an emerging technology, the field involves many interest groups including geneticists, chemistry experts and bio-technologists. Synthetic biologists approach the creation of innovative biological systems in different perspectives while focusing on the origin and works of life. The focus is basically on how to use this knowledge in benefiting the society.
Among the perspectives of synthetic biologists include the insertion of man-made DNA in the living cells and working on synthesis of gene in extending synthetic chemistry. This helps in building biological systems that form a platform for different technologies as well as rebuilding and rewriting the existing natural systems and developing engineered surrogates.
Synthetic biology is used in a various fields ranging from bio-fuel research to life sciences. This field is not only broad, but also inspiring. Among the key areas where synthetic biology is applied include the following:
Integrated technologies and sciences are used in analyzing sequence-to-function of plants. Genetic tools are used in producing particular traits or phenotypes.
Synthetic biology is used in optimizing microorganisms, genes and plants which ensures efficient feedback conversion into bio-fuels.
Through synthetic biology, tools, services and technology that enhance optimization of the activity of enzyme, quality and yield for better detergents, and food are developed
Synthetic biology has empowered natural solutions. This has been achieved by taking renewable approaches for chemicals, textiles and plastics with less environmental impact.
Antibody and vaccine production
Synthetic biology works closely with medical industries to enhance therapeutic pipeline while improving success rate in trials and experiments. It also focuses on disease prevention which includes development of vaccines.
All these application of synthetic biology are beneficial to the society. It is estimated that synthetic biology industry will increase its value to reach $10.8 billion by 2016. For this reason, various governments across the world have focused on this field as one of their major industries and allocated funds to it accordingly.
The field is bound to benefit the society because it has the potential for revolutionizing other fields especially the sustainable energy production industry. Through synthetic arrangement of existing proteins to form new pathways and create organisms that have novel functions that do not occur naturally, synthetic biologists have improved technology in the bio-fuel industry.
A more ambitious and futuristic goal is creation of a synthetic life and this will enhance human understanding of the natural life.