Microbial biotechnology | VOL. 3

Paving the way for synthetic biology-based bioremediation in Europe

Publication Date Dec 29, 2009


Synthetic biology (SB) has a dual definition. It is both the design and construction of new biological parts, devices and systems, and also the re‐design of existing, natural systems for useful purposes. The latter field is maybe one of the major challenges within this discipline, since the promising prospect that biological systems may be used as biomachines will certainly be exploited in the near future. Synthetic biology has challenging conceptual possibilities (Moya et al., 2009a) and impressive progress has already been made in biotechnology following SB approaches (de Lorenzo and Danchin, 2008). Much more is expected in the near future from current efforts aiming to make synthetic genomes for minimal cells to be applied in biomedical, bioremediation or bioenergy applications (Moya et al., 2009b). In addition to standard academic research, the growing success of the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition organized by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology demonstrates how diverse the practical applications of even relatively simple SB projects can be. Synthetic biology is more a framework than a discipline, as it deals with the rational combination of biological properties with central elements of engineering design. Although a living organism cannot be simplified as the mere sum of its parts (Pereto and Catala, 2007), the fact is that these parts can indeed be used as heterologous functional elements for a wide range of biotechnological applications. Thus, by merging the biotechnologic...

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Synthetic Biology
Biological Systems
Foundations Of Synthetic Biology
Remediation Of Environmental Pollution
iGEM Competition
Dual Definition
Grand Prize
Programme Of Activities
Helicobacter Pylori
Bioenergy Applications

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