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Tag Archives: synthetic biology

One Word: Plastics

It’s looking more and more like the first big proof-of-concept for commercial synthetic biology will be in biofuels or so-called white or green chemistry — the production of “clean” organic chemicals and materials with the aid of biotechnology, using the same sort of souped-up fermentation process being tried out for fuels. The November 26th 2009 […]

Synthetic Biology Roundup

Life’s been too hectic lately to keep up with all the cool little synbio nuggets churned up by the Internet over the past couple of weeks. Just wanted to catch up with a few items I particularly enjoyed. First, this interview from Gizmodo with Michael Specter, who recently wrote a piece on synthetic biology in […]

Open-Sourcing Life Science: Getting Theoretical With Sophia Roosth

Thanks to Mac Cowell for posting this link on the DIYbio blog. Sophia Roosth, a Ph.D. candidate at MIT, gave this talk at the Kennedy School of Government on November 9, 2009. With the provocative title “Crafting the Biological: Open-Sourcing Life Science, from Synthetic Biology to Garage Biotech,” Roosth’s talk offers an anthropological perspective on […]

Visible Results: 2009 iGem Roundup

In its sixth year, iGem certainly looks like a viable colony, actively self-replicating. Once containable within the disorienting confines of the Stata Center, the event is now a sprawling, all-over-campus thing. With more than 100 teams and some 1,700 participants, this year’s competition took over lecture halls in five separate buildings clustered along “iGem Lane.” […]

All Eyes on iGem

You can expect a veritable who’s who of the synthetic biology community — and a lot of geeky T-shirts — at this weekend’s iGem Jamboree, held on the MIT campus in Cambridge. The annual competition — conceived as a showcase for teams of undergraduate students to demonstrate their skill and creativity in developing genetically engineered […]

Access to Tools: Stewart Brand on Synthetic Biology

Interviewed in Newsweek on his latest book, Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto, Stewart Brand stands up against some of the most sacred cows of the mainstream environmental movement. The visionary behind the Whole Earth Catalog, early online community the Well, and the Long Now Foundation, who lives on a biodiesel- and solar-powered houseboat in […]

Big Investors Embrace Multiple Pathways to Next-Gen Biofuels

This summer, I blogged about Joule Biotechnologies’ high-profile quest to make “solar ethanol” and wondered how it would affect other startups also using synthetic biology to make biofuel production more efficient. Particularly, I wondered whether VC firm Flagship Ventures would continue to support the fuel-focused work of LS9, which in May entered a major deal […]

BioBricks and Ginkgo Bioworks in Wired U.K.

Last week I wrote about Ginkgo Bioworks’ move into a new location on Boston’s waterfront. I have to say that for a tiny company, they’ve done a great job getting and keeping visible in the media. In addition to the recent flurry of attention generated by the move and this piece in MIT’s Technology Review, […]

Synthetic Biology Raises Its Profile, and New Concerns

GenomeWeb this week reported on the findings of a new poll designed to gauge public awareness of synthetic biology. Conducted by Scientific Blogging, the poll of 1,001 American adults found that 90 percent of them think the public should be better informed about emerging technologies like synthetic biology and nanotechnology. About 22 percent of respondents […]

Synthetic Bio Startup Gains a Foothold

Ginkgo Bioworks, a two-year-old parts-and-services provider for the burgeoning synthetic biology community founded by MIT alumni, has moved out of its “virtual” phase and into a new brick-and-mortar lab space occupying 3,400 square feet in the Marine Industrial Park on the South Boston waterfront, thanks to a $150,000 loan from Boston’s LifeTech initiative. As Xconomy […]