Perspectives

21/04/2017

Enzymes "are at the center of synthetic biology" because of their ability to help make new products, said Frances Arnold, a biochemist, engineer and Dickinson professor at the California Institute of Technology.

read more and comment
02/11/2016

We launched our Integrated Human Practices visual tool at the iGEM Giant Jamboree 2016. Read more here.

read more and comment
21/09/2016

In the Trend Analysis Biotechnology 2016, three expert bodies recently advised the Dutch government to take a step back in attempting to regulate synthetic biology and other modern biotechnology.

read more and comment
05/09/2016

At ESOF2016, Synenergene organised a reflection session on synthetic biology in collaboration with SYNBIOCHEM Manchester, titled “Synthetic biology and the new bio-industrial revolution” (

read more and comment
26/08/2016

Recently, the European Commission updated the model grant agreement for projects funded under the Horizon 2020 research programme, calling for respecting “the principles of honesty, reliability, objectivity, impartiality, open communication, duty

read more and comment
01/07/2016

Around 50 people attended the panel session on ‘freedom and security in an age of synthetic biology: challenges, concerns, needs’, chaired by Christopher Coenen, during the conference “Synthetic Biology – Visions of the Future” at NEMO, Amsterdam

read more and comment
01/07/2016

Some 40-45 participants in the conference “Synthetic Biology – Visions of the Future” at NEMO in Amsterdam on 24 June 2016 discussed cultural and religious aspects of synthetic biology with experts.

read more and comment
08/06/2016

A recent publication in Science proposing a multi million dollar effort to start writing the human genome was questioned in several comments. Among the autors are synthetic biologist Jef Boeke at New York University, genome scientist George Church at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, Andrew Hessel, a futurist at the commercial design studio Autodesk Research in San Rafael, California and quite a few other ‘members’ of the US synbio community.

read more and comment
08/06/2016

Are we insidiously running to the artificial creation of a human? George Church, with known recurring stunts - announcing the resurrection of the mammoth - published this June 2, 2016 an article (co-signed by 24 other US researchers) in Science announcing the mobilization to synthesize the 6 billion nucleotides of the human genome.

read more and comment
08/06/2016

Jef Boeke, George Church, Andrew Hessel, Nancy Kelley and colleagues have raised quite some alarm over their ambitious proposal for a multi-billion Human Genome Project – write.

read more and comment
26/05/2016

As a researcher exploring global decision-making and knowledge-making on synthetic biology, attending the meetings of the UN convention on Biodiversity offers a fascinating window on the multi-faceted international relations, tensions an

read more and comment
25/02/2016

In this perspective I aim to elicit several preliminary lessons learned on ‘How to do RRI?’ from practice, which Synenergene partners have shared during the general assembly of Synenergene in Bristol, October 2015.

read more and comment
16/02/2016

In January 2015 a team of 7 biohackers from 7 different countries united to give an amazing course to art and design students at Aalto University, Helsinki.

read more and comment
16/02/2016

read more and comment
21/12/2015

The mutual learning activities between iGEM and SYNENERGENE were continued this year, as we again called the iGEM teams to reflect on the societal ramifications of their projects by creating two types of scenarios.

read more and comment
16/10/2015

Within the SYNENERGENE project, a number of online tools and activities have been developed and are yet going to be developed besides the main web presence on synenergene.eu.

read more and comment
03/07/2015

"Re-engineering life or Do we want to be unlimited" (RE-ENGINEERING LIFE oder WOLLEN WIR UNENDLICH SEIN?) is the title of a weekend-long theatre congress on the promises and perils of synthetic biology at SYNENERGENE partner

read more and comment
13/03/2015

This year the Doomsday Clock was set at three minutes to midnight, two minutes closer to catastrophe than in 2014.

read more and comment
09/01/2015

A perspective published in the Biotechnology Journal points to tensions and possible pitfalls that may arise from basing the goals of synthetic biology to an excessive extent on notions of engineering and application, as well as from the

read more and comment
19/12/2014

The year 2014 is almost over, we’d like to take a look back on synthetic biology and its role in society in the last 12 months.

read more and comment
20/11/2014

The September 30, 2014 U.S. News & World Report article, “Virginia Researchers See Promise in 'Synthetic Biology,'” once again depicts the field of synthetic biology as simultaneously important for our future yet rife with misconceptions amongst the public...

read more and comment
16/04/2014

An exciting workshop was held in Brussels on the 8-9th of April 2014. It was aimed at sharing knowledge and learning from each other on Synbio related topics.

read more and comment
14/04/2014

The concept of responsible research and innovation ultimately depends on democratic principles, such as inclusiveness and pluralism, participative approaches or transparency in political decisions.

read more and comment
05/03/2014

Well, here we go. This is my first blog experience ever, and I am happy that it is about synthetic biology. After all, this in my view is the most exciting scientific/engineering endeavor that I have come across in the last 10 years.

read more and comment
05/03/2014

The Synthetic Biology Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars focuses on all aspects of the emerging technology of synthetic biology, looking at its potential risks and benefits.

read more and comment
05/03/2014

"The alchemist’s rejected dream of creating a homunculus in a test tube has now been translated with the sober chemist’s dream of creating, not a little man, but at least a virus… perhaps eventually a bacterium. [...] What an audaciously stultifying proposal! One would hardly guess from this project that life already exists and has penetrated every nook and corner of this planet". These harsh words against the ambition of "creating life" were written by Lewis Mumford in 1970. Here, I use Mumford's arguments as starters to stir up debate on synthetic biology and discuss its ambitions.

read more and comment
04/03/2014

While the recently announced collaboration between MIT and Pfizer is old news in terms of the product the two will be working on (namely, biologics), the focus of the collaboration—a simpler drug manufacturing methodology that cuts down steps in the purification process— if successful, has the potential to cut costs and help in the long run to bring down prices of biologics.

read more and comment