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Trends Biotechnol. 2008 Dec;26(12):674-81. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2008.08.003. Epub 2008 Oct 30.

Engineering microbes with synthetic biology frameworks.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Typically, the outcome of biologically engineered unit operations cannot be controlled a priori due to the incorporation of ad hoc design into complex natural systems. To mitigate this problem, synthetic biology presents a systematic approach to standardizing biological components for the purpose of increasing their programmability and robustness when assembled with the aim to achieve novel biological functions. A complex engineered biological system using only standardized biological components is yet to exist. Nevertheless, current attempts to create and to implement modular, standardized biological components pave the way for the future creation of highly predictable artificial biological systems. Although synthetic biology frameworks can be applied to any biological engineering endeavor, this article will focus on providing a brief overview of advances in the field and its recent utilization for the engineering of microbes.

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