Hyle 15 (1):21 - 30 (2009)

Abstract
Synthetic biology emerged around 2000 as a new biological discipline. It shares with systems biology the same modular vision of organisms, but is more concerned with applications than with a better understanding of the functioning of organisms. A herald of this new discipline is Craig Venter who aims to create an artificial microorganism with the minimal genome compatible with life and to implement into it different 'functional modules' to generate new micro-organisms adapted to specific tasks. Synthetic biology is based on the possibilities raised by genetic engineering, but it aims to engineer organisms, and not simply to modify them, mimicking the practice of computer engineers. Three points will be discussed: In what regard does synthetic biology represent a new epistemology of the life sciences? What are the relations between synthetic biology and evolutionary biology? What is the raison d'être of synthetic biology as a discipline independent of nanotechnologies?
Keywords Philosophy of Chemistry  synthetic biology  engineering  modularity  evolution  modeling
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Synthetic Biology Between Technoscience and Thing Knowledge.Axel Gelfert - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (2):141-149.
Creating Parts That Allow for Rational Design: Synthetic Biology and the Problem of Context-Sensitivity.Stephan Güttinger - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (2):199-207.
This is the Synthetic Biology That Is. [REVIEW]Daniel Liu - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 63:89-93.
What Will Result From the Interaction Between Functional and Evolutionary Biology?Michel Morange - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (1):69-74.

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