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Synthetic Biology, West Coast-Style

From Stanford Magazine, a nice feature by Kara Platoni on Drew Endy and Christine Smolke that gives a well-rounded overview of synbio’s big goals along with the now-mandatory roundup of the major ethical and safety criticisms.

Endy, one of the real “inventors” of synthetic biology, and one of the field’s most visible and eloquent spokespeople, moved from MIT to Stanford in 2008 where he is now an assistant professor in the department of bioengineering.

“Biology is the most compelling technology platform anybody has ever seen,” Endy says. “It’s the stuff of life and it’s a reproducing machine! It’s a nanotechnology that actually works. You can program it with DNA—sort of. We’re learning how to do that. It’s the most overwhelmingly cool, impressive technology platform any engineer is ever going to encounter if they’re alive today.” Smolke, among other projects, is working on ways to possibly program T-cells  to sense when they are near cancer cells so they can go into overdrive to fight them back.

Endy and Smolke, who are engaged, are both advisers to Stanford’s undergraduate iGem team.

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  1. Andy Vota · Interesting article on synthetic biology on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    […] aboput the field of synthetic biology. Here’s a recent post I found particulary interesting: Synthetic Biology West Coast Style. […]

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