Synthetic Biology: A Challenge to Mechanical Explanations in Biology?

Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 55 (4):543-553 (2012)
Abstract
The construction of synthetic life might appear to be the natural objective of the emerging discipline of synthetic biology. The situation, though, is not that simple. Plans to synthesize life appeared quite early, at the beginning of the 20th century (Bensaude-Vincent 2009; Deichmann 2009; Fox Keller 2002; Pereto and Catala 2007). Nor can synthetic biology be identified with work on the origin of life. Nevertheless, it is remarkable that a new, more integrated approach to the origin of life appeared exactly when synthetic biology was emerging (Szostak, Bartel, and Luisi 2001).Most synthetic biologists have the more limited ambition of modifying existing organisms by giving them new functionalities. Synthetic ..
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DOI 10.1353/pbm.2012.0048
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