Bioengineering is pervasive these days–just look at your medicine, your makeup, or your food–but the science behind it is still pretty inaccessible to tinkerers. Enter Amino: A small bioengineering lab that will walk you through the process of creating everything from glow-in-the-dark cells to an anti-cancer research…
The emerging discipline of synthetic biology is poised to change many aspects of our lives, from the production of medicines and bio-fuels through to genetic engineering and the development of completely new biological systems. It’s a technologically daunting prospect, but this video from Grist uses Legos and…
Rhino horn is more precious than gold on the black market, and our insatiable demand for the stuff has driven rhinos to the brink of extinction. Now a Seattle-based startup has a radical plan to save these incredible animals: Using synthetic biology to manufacture rhino horns in the lab.
In the twentieth century, oil was black gold. But as we march deeper into the twenty-first century, we could have a lucrative new fuel on our hands. One that’s blue-green and sometimes a little smelly. It’s found in wastewater, but it’s capable of powering jets. It’s algae.
Yeast labs have a distinctive smell—a bready scent familiar to bakers and brewers. But the frozen test tube of yeast I held at Ginkgo Bioworks had a fragrance crisp and pear-like. It was definitely yeast, but it had been genetically engineered to smell like no yeast has ever smelled.
We love to imagine how biotechnology might one day enhance our fleshy bodies, but too often, Earth’s wildlife are left out of the future entirely. Enter Kathryn Fleming’s future zoo, filled with a menagerie of fantastical, slightly disturbing, genetically modified mutants.
A rose is a rose is a rose, except when it’s actually a yeast. A company called Ginkgo BioWorks in Boston is partnering with French fragrance company Robertet to create a genetically-modified yeast that makes the rose oil used in perfumes.
What happens when amateur scientists doing synthetic biology as DiY projects, building new organisms and modifying old ones? A group of scientists raised the alarm about the risks of backyard synbio in Nature recently, and it's the topic of a lively discussion on the Guardian's Science Weekly podcast. Check it out!
The advent of synthetic biology and DNA synthesis has raised concern that amateurs will use these technologies to turn pathogens into weapons of mass destruction. But as experts point out, this may be far easier said than done.
The powerful painkiller morphine comes from opium poppies, which only grow in a few places around the world. But now, a group of bioengineers are on the cusp of creating a modified form of baker's yeast that can synthesize the drug. What happens when we can brew up heroin in a vat of yeast?
The cup above may look like just an empty container, but it's actually much more.
What does it mean to design using living materials? Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg and Christina Agapakis will be here to answer your questions about synthetic biology and just what it might mean for the future.
Synthetic biology has reignited the debate over destroying remaining smallpox samples in the U.S. and Russia. The ability to construct the virus artificially, some public health experts argue, would eliminate any relevance of laboratory stockpiles.
By splicing genes from a bioluminescent bacteria with a common decorative plant called Nicotiana alata, engineers have created the first biological light source for your home. This is the first glimpse of a future world where synthetic biology transforms our lives.
Now that many environmentalists are coming around to the idea that GMOs don't have to be evil, we need a more nuanced view of how we want to use GMOs in agriculture. When is it a good idea to use GMOs, and when is it overkill?
One of the most terrifying epidemics of the modern era isn't among humans at all. It's a deadly fungus that attacks bats in the Americas, and it has an almost 100 percent fatality rate. A bat extinction could destroy humanity, too — but some scientists think there's an unusual solution on the horizon.
Science fiction has always commented on the present, and today's present is very science-fictional. All around, we see inventions that could transform the world within a decade or two. So why don't more science fiction writers speculate about them? Here are 12 real-life developments science fiction should be…
Food is so boring. It just sits there, waiting to be eaten. But what if it could writhe around and interact with us, prior to being devoured? This is the dream of bio-artist Minsu Kim, who envisions the day when our food comes alive.
We love the idea of the Glowing Plant Project, which will teach you about synthetic biology by allowing you to do some. The group has a Kickstarter campaign that, if successful, will allow anybody to grow a glowing plant from jellyfish DNA and a mustard flower.
Want to understand how synthetic biology might change the world? Here's a scientific video for you. Too much? But wait, there's also a comic book . . .