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Synthetic biology explained

From selective breeding to genetic modification, our understanding of biology is merging with engineering principles of to bring us synthetic biology

From selective breeding to genetic modification, our understanding of biology is now merging with the principles of engineering to bring us synthetic biology.

The international nature of scientific research is shown by the fact that this film was produced in Australia, but its information is relevant to scientists across the globe.

The prices quoted in the film are for Australian dollars; there are about 2 Australian dollars to each UK pound sterling at the current exchange rate (June 2016). At the time that this film was made the cost to synthesise each base was stated to be about 20 pence sterling (“40 cents” in Australian money), but it is continuing to decrease.

The video mentions the International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) Foundation, an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of synthetic biology, and the development of an open community and collaboration. iGEM runs three main programs:

  • the iGEM Competition – an international competition for students interested in the field of synthetic biology;

  • the Labs Program – a program for academic labs to use the same resources as the competition teams;

  • the Registry of Standard Biological Parts – a growing collection of genetic parts use for building biological devices and systems.

Further background information about this topic is available via the links below.

© UEA and Biochemical Society, 2018. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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Biochemistry: the Molecules of Life

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