Understanding life in the modular system: Synthetic biology

Anke Becker, Tobias J. Erb, Georg Fritz, Jan W. Kellmann, Victor Sourjik, Torsten Waldminghaus

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Abstract

Synthetic Biology. Construction of cells bearing completely new properties, facilitated by generating modules and tool boxes, is one of the latest scientific progresses within the life sciences. Approaches used by this new discipline appear different to hitherto existing analytical methods or descriptive models, allowing scientists to become designers of molecules, molecular pathways, and whole cells. This change in experimental and analytical strategies resulted in a new discipline, called Synthetic Biology. The definition of the term “synthetic” is versatile. Facets of Synthetic Biology range from bottom up design of protocells or replacing the whole genome of a cell by chemically synthesized DNA to engineering of cellular components, such as novel enzymes. This often involves sophistical computer modeling to answer fundamental questions in life sciences or to optimally serve clinical or biotechnological endeavors. This article introduces up-to-date research approaches representing different facets of Synthetic Biology.

Translated title of the contributionUnderstanding life in the modular system: Synthetic biology
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)298-305
Number of pages8
JournalBiologie in Unserer Zeit
Volume47
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes

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Becker, A., Erb, T. J., Fritz, G., Kellmann, J. W., Sourjik, V., & Waldminghaus, T. (2017). Synthetische Biologie: Im Baukastensystem das Leben verstehen: Biologie in Unserer Zeit, 47(5), 298-305. https://doi.org/10.1002/biuz.201710628