Synthetic Biology

based on standard parts

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Security in Synthetic Biology

The core purpose of synthetic biology is to "make biology easier to engineer" — which means easier for anyone, regardless of intent. Current and recent developments in synthetic biology present new challenges for global biosecurity:

  • DNA synthesis (cheaper, easier, and faster)
  • Open-source biological parts
  • Modular design for reusability

Security in iGEM

iGEM teams are encouraged to grapple with the difficult biosecurity questions that are raised by synthetic biology in general, or by their project in particular. As part of their Human Practices work, several teams have directly addressed security questions:

  • Lethbridge 2013
  • Peking

FBI Talks

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has been a sponsor of iGEM for several years, using the Jamborees as an opportunity to conduct outreach and dialogue with the next generation of synthetic biologists.

For more information on the FBI's outreach efforts, please see this interview with Edward You: Part 1, Part 2.

SGI-DNA Screening the Registry of Standard Biological Parts

iGEM Foundation

Dedicated to education and competition, advancement of synthetic biology, and the development of open community and collaboration.