BlogByte: What’s in a name? Synthetic Biology

Synthetic biology (SB) is a relative newcomer to the biology arena, but by the time you graduate in science it could be well established. [In July 2013 the UK Government made a £24 million cash injection into SB]. So what is ‘synthetic biology’? Like all new ideas a definition of Synthetic Biology will probably change overtime. At present the subject is defined by a group of synthetic biologists on their website, as (A) the design and construction of new biological parts, devices and systems and, (B) the re-design of existing, natural biological systems for useful purposes. The UK Royal Society define synthetic biology as ‘an emerging area of research that can broadly be described as the design and construction of novel artificial biological pathways, organisms or devices, or the re-design of existing natural biological systems.’ More information is available at and search for ‘synthetic biology 101’ and ‘What is Synthetic Biology?