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Issue 7, 2009
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Synthetic biology: exploring and exploiting genetic modularity through the design of novel biological networks

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Abstract

Synthetic biology has been used to describe many biological endeavors over the past thirty years—from designing enzymes and in vitro systems, to manipulating existing metabolisms and gene expression, to creating entirely synthetic replicating life forms. What separates the current incarnation of synthetic biology from the recombinant DNA technology or metabolic engineering of the past is an emphasis on principles from engineering such as modularity, standardization, and rigorously predictive models. As such, synthetic biology represents a new paradigm for learning about and using biological molecules and data, with applications in basic science, biotechnology, and medicine. This review covers the canonical examples as well as some recent advances in synthetic biology in terms of what we know and what we can learn about the networks underlying biology, and how this endeavor may shape our understanding of living systems.

Graphical abstract: Synthetic biology: exploring and exploiting genetic modularity through the design of novel biological networks

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Jan 2009, accepted on 27 Apr 2009 and first published on 14 May 2009


Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/B901484E
Citation: Mol. BioSyst., 2009,5, 704-713
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    Synthetic biology: exploring and exploiting genetic modularity through the design of novel biological networks

    C. M. Agapakis and P. A. Silver, Mol. BioSyst., 2009, 5, 704
    DOI: 10.1039/B901484E

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