Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 55 (4):470-472 (2012)
AbstractIn this second decade of the 21st century, we find the pervasive influence of synthetic biology everywhere, not only in research laboratories, but also in the discourses of politicians and ethicists. Despite its ubiquity, the precise meaning of the notions of "synthetic biology" and "synthetic life," as well as their history, potential, and risks, remain obscure not only to the layperson, but also to most biologists.The aim of this special issue is twofold. First, it is intended to help the reader better appreciate what synthetic biology is all about and what are its roots. Second, once the overall picture has been expounded and made clearer, the questions of whether research in synthetic biology raises new and ..
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