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Synthetic Biology: Tools for Engineering Biological Systems

Synthetic biology involves the rational design and construction of biological components and systemsfrom genetic elements and metabolic pathways to entirely new organisms. Progress in this field has been rapid, and it promises to significantly expand our capabilities in biotechnology, medicine, and agriculture.

Written and edited by experts in the field, this collection from Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology examines the tools and techniques employed by synthetic biologists, how these may be used to develop new drugs, diagnostic approaches, food sources, and clean energy, and what the field of synthetic biology has taught us about natural living systems. The contributors discuss advances in DNA synthesis and assembly, genome editing (e.g., CRISPR/Cas9), and artificial genetic systems. Progress in designing complex genetic switches and circuits, expanding the genetic code, modifying cellular organization, producing proteins using cell-free systems, and developing biodesign automation tools is also covered.

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