Synthetic biology is a new research field that tries to build biological systems that do not exist in nature. It could be called the art of engineering biology. Its aim is to create new technologies, such as alternative energy sources, medicines, and food products. Many people hope that synthetic biology, through such new technologies, will be able to solve important social challenges. At the same time synthetic biology leads us to ask questions about the social responsibility of science. What kind of technologies do we want in society, and how should they be used?
On the following pages you can find examples of how synthetic biology is being used and which developments the field has undergone the past years.