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Pawan K Dhar,
Balakrishna Pisupati 

Funded by Department of Biotechnology, New Delhi

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What is Synthetic biology?

Synthetic biology is a rational and ground-up construction of biomolecular components towards applications. The construction may be in the native or a non-native setting.


Native  refers to the redesign of existing pathways. Non native refers to the transfer of  pathways across organisms.  

Though the term was proposed 1970s, it was formally reintroduced in June 2004, first conference of synthetic biology at MIT

What makes synthetic biology unique?

Several aspects of Synthetic Biology are novel

1. Rational design and construction in biology

2. Genome-wide data sheet of part, device and circuits

3. The rules of composing an organism are unknown.

4. IEEE equivalent standards in biology do not exist.

5. installable pathways as plug-in, plug out apps

6. non ATGC DNA

7. Long DNA synthesis technology

8. Genome editing tools

9. Biofoundry

You may want to quickly read some of the FAQs HERE

Looking back, the term 'genetic engineering' seems to be a misnomer! Clearly, people practiced ‘probability’ in the name of  'engineering'...

With the emergence of Synthetic biology, engineering biological systems has begun! 


Pawan K. Dhar
Professor, School of Biotechnology,
, Institutional Innovation Council

Jawaharlal Nehru University

New Delhi 110067

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