Synthetic biology - the state of play

FEBS Lett. 2012 Jul 16;586(15):2029-36. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2012.06.002. Epub 2012 Jun 13.


Just over two years ago there was an article in Nature entitled "Five Hard Truths for Synthetic Biology". Since then, the field has moved on considerably. A number of economic commentators have shown that synthetic biology very significant industrial potential. This paper addresses key issues in relation to the state of play regarding synthetic biology. It first considers the current background to synthetic biology, whether it is a legitimate field and how it relates to foundational biological sciences. The fact that synthetic biology is a translational field is discussed and placed in the context of the industrial translation process. An important aspect of synthetic biology is platform technology, this topic is also discussed in some detail. Finally, examples of application areas are described.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Computer-Aided Design
  • Industry
  • Reference Standards
  • Synthetic Biology* / economics
  • Synthetic Biology* / methods
  • Synthetic Biology* / standards
  • Synthetic Biology* / statistics & numerical data
  • Technology