Chrissie Wilkins

EARTHTALK(R): SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY

 

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Should those of us who care about our health and the planet be concerned about the new trend in genetic engineering called synthetic biology?                          -- Chrissie Wilkins, Bern, NC

“Synthetic biology” (or “synbio”) refers to the design and fabrication of novel biological parts, devices and systems that do not otherwise occur in nature. Many see it as an extreme version of genetic engineering (GE). But unlike GE, whereby genetic information with certain desirable traits is inserted from one organism into another, synbio uses computers and chemicals to create entirely new organisms.