Synthetic Biology: From iGEM to the Artificial Cell by Manuel PorcarSynthetic Biology: From iGEM to the Artificial Cell by Manuel Porcar

Synthetic Biology: From iGEM to the Artificial Cell

byManuel Porcar, Juli Peret

Paperback | September 23, 2014

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Synthetic Biology (SB) is a revolutionary discipline with a vast range of practical applications, but is SB research really based on engineering principles? Does it contributing to the artificial synthesis of life or does it utilise approaches sufficiently advanced to fall outside the scope of biotechnology or metabolic engineering? This volume reviews the development of SB and includes the major milestones of the discipline, the 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' approaches towards the construction of an artificial cell and the development of the "iGEM" competition. We conclude that SB is an emerging field with extraordinary technological potential, but that most research projects actually are an extension of metabolic engineering since the complexity of living organisms, their tight dependence on evolution and our limited knowledge of the interactions between the molecules, actually make life difficult to engineer.

Title:Synthetic Biology: From iGEM to the Artificial CellFormat:PaperbackDimensions:77 pagesPublished:September 23, 2014Publisher:Springer-Verlag/Sci-Tech/TradeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:9401793816

ISBN - 13:9789401793810

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Michel Morange
Preface

1. What is synthetic biology?
Engineering ideals and synthetic life
Challenges for synthetic life
References

2. What was synthetic biology?
Life and matter
Spontaneous generation
The synthesis of living beings a century ago
Creating life: utopia and propaganda
References

3. What is life?
Why wonder what life is?
A single example of life
Real is a small part of the possible
Extant is a clue for the extinct
Individual and collective life
Being alive and being a living being
Awakening from the Cartesian dream
References

4. Strategies for making life
Frankenstein and Werker: two strategies to make a living being
À la Frankenstein: artificial synthesis of life or the top-down approach
À la Werker: synthesis of artificial life or the bottom-up approach
Synthesizing life as we do not know it
References

5. Synthetic biology in action
Virus and malaria to begin with
Playing God with a chromosome?
Cell circuitry
Cooling down the cool engineer
Biofuels
Armpit cheese or public-oriented research in the name of synthetic biology
Beyond practical uses
References

6. The iGEM competition
iGEM -synthetic biology for the youngest scientists
From Briobrick to JamboreeThe outcome and the future
References

7. Are we doing synthetic biology?
A word on genomes: are we true writers?
Is life engineerable?
Standards in biology -the iGEM competition
References

Postface by Ricard Solé

Onomastic index

Subject index