The second wave of synthetic biology: from modules to systems

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Jun;10(6):410-22. doi: 10.1038/nrm2698.


Synthetic biology is a research field that combines the investigative nature of biology with the constructive nature of engineering. Efforts in synthetic biology have largely focused on the creation and perfection of genetic devices and small modules that are constructed from these devices. But to view cells as true 'programmable' entities, it is now essential to develop effective strategies for assembling devices and modules into intricate, customizable larger scale systems. The ability to create such systems will result in innovative approaches to a wide range of applications, such as bioremediation, sustainable energy production and biomedical therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Biology*
  • Biotechnology*
  • Cell Line
  • Computer Simulation
  • Engineering* / methods
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Genome
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Nanotechnology
  • Software