Biology by design

Over lunch a friend (not Dr. R. – I do have other friends too!) was talking about a review article in Interface, a relatively new journal published by the British Royal Society. I don’t normally read Interface, so I didn’t see this when it appeared a couple of weeks ago.  This is the citation for the paper:

Marguet, P., Balagadde, F., Tan, C., You, L. (2007) Biology by design: reduction and synthesis of cellular components and behavior. Interface 4: 607-623.

and even the full text is available!

The article is about synthetic biology, i.e. giving new bacteria (mainly) new functions. I have only started reading it – it’s long, and about what I normally do. But I thought this point was interesting. At the start, the authors cite the definition of synthetic biology, as given by

Synthetic biology refers to both:

* the design and fabrication of biological components and systems that do not already exist in the natural world
* the re-design and fabrication of existing biological systems.

I like the re-design. It means that people in synthetic biology are recognising that biological systems have been designed, and not produced by blind evolution, as the Darwinists would have us believe.

I will post more on the article later, when I have finished reading it.


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