Sunday, June 23, 2013

Andrew Hessel - Introduction to Synthetic Biology

BIOlogy :: Presented below is a Singularity University talk on synthetic biology, uploaded in 2009, which gives a sweeping overview of the field of synthetic biology, the implications and potential it poses toward humanity and a series of useful references for those to pursue who are interested in more information.

Toward the end of the presentation -- many interesting questions are posed by the audience. One in particular -- the fear of a synthetic virus wiping out biological systems (including human life) -- gives way to an answer that allays many of these fears. Security systems just as are found in computers could be integrated into biological systems.

It is very likely that just as we have a restore disk for our computers, we will have restore genomes for high-valued biological systems, including our own, human genome. The process of gene therapy today already shows us that it is possible to rewrite parts of our genetic code for beneficial outcomes. In the future, by the time synthetic viruses become a threat, the ability to protect against such threats with hard-copies of our genomes and the ability to reintroduce them into a compromised system will already be developed.

Here is a link to the closet molecular biology lab mentioned in the talk, via The Wall Street Journal's "In Attics and Closets, 'Biohackers' Discover Their Inner Frankenstein."

Here is the link to "Fold It."

For more videos from Singularity University, check out their channel on YouTube.