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January 16, 2006

Genetic Engineering to Synthetic Biology

Funny, but I've always consideredgenetic engineering the process of assembling genes (or engineering them) to form something else. You know, the whole scientist vs. engineer thing. Apparently I'm wrong because in this article [msn.com] what I thought genetic engineering was is now called synthetic biology. Those crazy biologists!

It seems crazy that the whole synthetic biology thing is mostly trial-and-error, I thought we were a little bit beyond that in certain fields, genetics being one of them. I look at the whole DNA/gene/chromosome knot as a heirarchical composition of increasing complexity. What does that mean? It means that once you understand the relationships between the different levels in the hierarchy synthetic biology just becomes an abstract form of assembling and programming. For example, genes are an assemblage of DNA pairs in the same way that a function is an assembly of simpler instructions. Given this notation you can consider DNA nothing more than simple instructions for the processor of life.

They need more computer scientists, computer engineers and reverse engineers working on these projects.

Posted by Guy at January 16, 2006 7:03 AM