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Synthetic Biology focuses on the design and construction of new biological parts, devices and systems and the reconstruction of natural biological systems. Synthetic Biology is an exponentially growing field (the number of publications double every 20 months) which promises novel solutions in basic and applied research.
In basic research, synthetic approaches enable natural biological systems to be reconstructed to help understand their mode of function. In applied research, synthetic biological approaches enable the design and construction of biological systems that provide novel solutions to imminent challenges in a wide variety of fields, including the discovery of new drugs, the production of drug substances, the environmentally friendly production of biofuels and the bioremediation of contaminated soils.
Approaches in Synthetic Biology have also gathered momentum in signalling sciences and help us to understand natural signalling processes and the de novo design of signalling networks with a desired function.
These pages provide an overview of synthetic signalling systems and of the social and ethical implications of Synthetic Biology.