General Reviews of Synthetic Biology

  • Synthetic Biology: Bits and pieces come to life
    By James Collins, Professor of Bioengineering at Boston University
    This article includes the history of synthetic engineering, up to the current time, possibilities for the future. The PDF can be downloaded FREE.
    Nature: 483, S8–S10 (01 March 2012), doi:10.1038/483S8a

  • Synthetic biology.
    By A.E. Osbourn, P.E. O'Maille, S.J. Rosser  and K. Lindsey (2012)
    A report from the 4th New Phytologist Workshop, Bristol, UK, June 2012
    New Phytologist, 196: 671–677. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2012.04374.

  • Q&A: Circuit capacity
    An interview of James Collins, focusing on future applications of synthetic biology. The PDF can be downloaded FREE.Nature 483,S11 (01 March 2012), doi:10.1038/483S11a

  • Life-changing experiments: The biological Higgs
    By Heidi Ledford
    What fundamental discoveries in biology might inspire the same thrill as looking for the Higgs boson 'God particle'?  Could one answer be synthesizing an evolving, replicating system from scratch? The PDF can be downloaded FREE.
    Nature: 483, 528–530 (29 March 2012), doi:10.1038/483528a

  • Synthetic Biology: Mapping the Scientific Landscape.
    By Oldham P, Hall S, Burton G (2012).
    A review article using mapping techniques to improve the transparency of synthetic biology and identify the range of institutions, researchers and funding agencies involved.
    PLoS ONE 7(4): e34368. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0034368

  • Structural Data in Synthetic Biology Approaches for Studying General Design Principles of Cellular Signaling Networks.
    By Christina Kiel, Luis Serrano.
    A review paper on the use of structural information for studying protein interaction and signaling networks with particular reference to synthetic biology approaches.
    Structure - 7 November 2012 (Vol. 20, Issue 11, pp. 1806-1813).

  • Genome-scale engineering for systems and synthetic biology.
    By Kevin Esvelt and Harris Wang (2013).
    Reviewing current technologies and methodologies for genome-scale engineering in systems and synthetic biology.
    Molecular Systems Biology 9 Article number: 641  doi:10.1038/msb.2012.66

  • Synthetic biology of antimicrobial discovery.
    By Bijan Zakeri and Timothy Lu.
    The authors discuss the biological engineering of small molecules, peptides, and non-traditional antimicrobials and the application of synthetic biology to antimicrobials discovery.
    ACS Synth. Biol., Publication Date (Web): November 19, 2012 (Just Accepted Manuscript). DOI: 10.1021/sb300101g

Roadmaps and other commissioned reports

Applications of Synthetic Biology

  • Plants: biofactories for a sustainable future?
    By Thomas Jenkins, Aurélie Bovi and Robert Edwards
    This review paper proposes the use of synthetic biology approaches to ‘re-construct' plant feedstocks for optimal processing of biomass for non-food applications.
    Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A (2011) 369, 1826–1839, doi:10.1098/rsta.2010.0347
    Available from our Document library and by clicking here.

  • Programmable single-cell mammalian biocomputers
    By Simon Auslander, David Auslander, Marius Muller, Markus Wieland & Martin Fussenegger
    Nature, Advanced Online Publication, 3rd June 2012. DOI: 10.1038/nature11149

  • A tour of the US's clean energy future
    By David Biello
    A Scientific American report of the third annual ARPA-e summit, which showcased potentially transformative energy technologies such as a microbial fuel cell made using synthetic biology. The report can be accessed for FREE.
    Scientific American, 29 February 2012/ Nature, doi:10.1038/nature.2012.10155

  • Rewritable digital data storage in live cells via engineered control of recombination directionality
    By Jerome Bonnet, Pakpoom Subsoontorn, and Drew Endy
    PNAS (Published online ahead of print 21 May 2012), doi: 10.1073/pnas.1202344109

  • Enzymes grow artificial DNA
    By Helen Shen
    Summary of a recent research paper, showing that laboratory-created variants of DNA can store and transmit information in much the same way as natural DNA. The article can be accessed for FREE.
    Nature 19 April 2012, doi:10.1038/nature.2012.10487

  • Drug development: Holding out for reinforcements
    By Michael Eisenstein
    Semisynthetic artemisinin from yeast has been one of synthetic biology's success stories. Artemisinin-combination therapy (ACT) is a first-line malaria treatment, but this article draws attention to ever-present threat of drug-resistance. The PDF can be downloaded FREE.
    Nature: 484, S16–S18 (26 April 2012), doi:10.1038/484S16a

Other Scientific Publications

UK Strategic Plan for Synthetic Biology 2016

Click on the image above to download the UK Synthetic Biology Strategic Plan 2016

Synthetic Biology Roadmap for the UK 2012

Case study

The role synthetic biology could play in future biorefining applications.

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