Synthetic Biology as an engineering discipline
In Synthetic Biology, scientists apply engineering techniques to design and construct biological devices with programmed functions. Like in engineering, the goal of Synthetic Biology is to use a part-based approach inspired by standardisation and, in this field, standards are in urgent need of refinement.
How can we measure a part’s performance in a way that other labs will be able to reproduce? How can we predict the exact performance of the device based on the its individual parts?
In order to answer these questions, the ‘Standards for the Design and Engineering of Modular Biological Devices‘ organisation was assembled in 2008. In this project, a group of Britain’s leading synthetic biologists met regularly throughout the duration of the project to discuss, define and develop robust standards for synthetic biology. These synthetic biologists were joined by other key players in the field, like social scientists and lawyers with expertise in biotechnology and genomics. This project, led by Alistair Elfick, from the University of Edinburgh, received £188.180 of funding from the BBSRC between June 2008 and November 2011.
A group of Britain’s leading synthetic biologists who met regularly to discuss, define and develop robust standards for synthetic biology.