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Free for the next 7 days - Chemical synthetic biology

Posted on 10. May, 2014.

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The new and fashionable term synthetic biology (SB) is used mostly to indicate a field that is aimed at synthesising biological structures or life forms in the laboratory which do not exist in nature; this is based on the engineering principles of standardisation, modularisation and characterisation, coupled to systematic design.

The accepted definition is that “synthetic biology aims to design and engineer biologically based parts, novel devices and systems – as well as redesigning existing, natural biological systems”.

Synthetic biology engages various branches of life science such as biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, structural biology, protein engineering and design, chemical biology, each one contributing to the development of this new field. One branch of SB is chemical synthetic biology (CSB) which is not based on genetic manipulation but emphasises instead a chemical approach, aiming at the synthesis of molecular structures and/or multi-molecular organised biological systems which do not exist in nature. 

These man-made, in nature non-existing, biological molecular or supra-molecular structures can be obtained either by chemical or biochemical synthesis.

Read the full article, free for 7 days, in Science Progress, Volume 97, No.1, March 2014, pp.48-61(14) by clicking here.

Authors: Cristiano Chiarabelli, Pier Luigi Luisi

DOI:10.3184/003685014X13921159313230

Keywords: CONTINGENCY; DETERMINISM; MINIMAL CELL; NEVER BORN PROTEINS; NEVER BORN RNA; ORIGIN OF LIFE; PNA; RANDOM PROTEINS; RANDOM RNA; SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY