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Revision as of 00:29, 28 January 2010
Assignment 2 Responses (Due Jan 27)
Discussion leader: Megan Barron
Engineering Microbes with synthetic biology frameworks
The article discussed some interesting points. I found it fascinating that scientists are trying to standardize a cell by removing the non-essential genes and leaving only the minimal genes required to carry out basic cellular processes. This task presents many challenges given the complexity of biological systems. From last seminar, the article “Five Truths about Synthetic Biology” we were made aware of the difficulties scientists face within the field. For example, the cell’s genome acts in unpredictable ways due to variability in the environment such as, growth conditions, noise, genetic mutations, etc. This creates a problem for the minimal genome project. I was surprised to see the progress made within the field of synthetic biology, everywhere from being able to synthesize DNA, use standardized plasmid systems to the building of promoter libraries. Now, scientists are working on synthesizing synthetic enzymes by using directed evolution and screening techniques. However, they are not always met with success. In summary, the standardization of synthetic parts enhances their integration into biological systems. The field of synthetic biology has evolved from genetic engineering due to the improvements in characterization of biological parts.
22:51, 27 January 2010 (EST)