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Nat Rev Genet. 2005 Jul;6(7):533-43.

Synthetic biology.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-7200, USA.


Synthetic biologists come in two broad classes. One uses unnatural molecules to reproduce emergent behaviours from natural biology, with the goal of creating artificial life. The other seeks interchangeable parts from natural biology to assemble into systems that function unnaturally. Either way, a synthetic goal forces scientists to cross uncharted ground to encounter and solve problems that are not easily encountered through analysis. This drives the emergence of new paradigms in ways that analysis cannot easily do. Synthetic biology has generated diagnostic tools that improve the care of patients with infectious diseases, as well as devices that oscillate, creep and play tic-tac-toe.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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