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Synthetic Biology and the Omics Revolution

Author/s: John Dalton

Publication Date: May 2013

Synthetic Biology and the Omics Revolution

The following is a short excerpt of Synthetic Biology and the Omics Revolution. Please refer to the PDF download for the full article including references.

Executive Summary

Biology and many of its sub-disciplines, in particular those related to molecular biology, have become vibrant and complex areas of research. As molecular medicine and bioengineering continue to develop in their subject knowledge and application, the gap between the ability of scientists to communicate their findings and the ability of the educated non-scientific public to comprehend their relevance broadens. Accordingly, some level of biological literacy is required to grasp many of the issues that frequently fill our media, such as the Human Genome Project, personalised medicine and now, synthetic biology. Equally important is the need for many stakeholders to appreciate their medical, commercial and possible ecological applications.

We are witnessing a new bioeconomy emerging that will not only transform how many commercial sectors operate and their efficiency, but also provide complex new challenges to our ethical and legal systems. What is particularly exciting is the potential that genomics and synthetic biology have to tackle complex issues, such as climate change and the growth of antibiotic resistance. The implications for commerce are huge as many processes will be significantly altered through the applications of engineered microbes with novel functions that can improve efficiency, reduce waste and pollution. Medicine will be transformed and many diseases that where previously thought to be incurable may be tackled and suffering and pain reduced or eliminated.