Synthetic biology needs robust safety mechanisms before real world application
Targeted cancer treatments, toxicity sensors and living factories: synthetic biology has the potential to revolutionize science and medicine. But before the technology is ready for real-world applications, more attention needs to be paid to its safety and stability, say experts in a review article published in Current Opinion in Chemical Biology (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1367593115000484). Synthetic biology involves engineering microbes like bacteria to program them to behave in certain ways. For example, bacteria can be engineered to glow when they detect certain molecules, and can be turned into tiny factories to produce chemicals.
Synthetic biology has now reached a stage where it's ready to move out of the lab and into the real world, to be used in patients and in the field. According to Professor Pamela Silver, one of the authors of the article from Harvard Medical School in the US, this move means researchers should increase focus on the safety of engineered microbes in biological systems like the human body.
Source: (e) Science News, 16 September 2015, http://esciencenews.com/articles/2015/09/16/synthetic.biology.needs.robu...