Genes That Fit
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Remember Mr. Potato Head? You changed his look by snapping in plastic mustaches, googly eyes and feet. Now imagine doing the same with a living cell: inserting the genes you want to create the organism you want. Welcome to the world of synthetic biology. It has potential to create new bio-fuels and life-saving drugs. It also ushers in a host of ethical and safety concerns. We examine both when we discuss this emerging science of mix and match genes.
Plus, does doing an end run around Mother Nature challenge the essence of life itself?
- Jay Keasling – professor of chemical engineering and biological engineering at UC Berkeley and founder of Amyris Biotechnologies
- Jonathan Eisen – biologist at UC Davis
- Jim Thomas – researcher at ETC group in Ottawa, Canada
- Ed Regis – science writer and author of What Is Life?: Investigating the Nature of Life in the Age of Synthetic Biology
- Michael Dosmann – curator of Living Collections at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University