Synthetic biology

Authored by: Deborah Scott , Dominic Berry , Jane Calvert

Handbook of Genomics, Health and Society

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  April  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138211957
eBook ISBN: 9781315451695
Adobe ISBN:


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New and emerging sciences and technologies present particular analytical problems for their investigators. This chapter addresses some of these problems while unpacking the example of synthetic biology. The latter can be defined in numerous and sometimes contradictory ways, but at its most general, synthetic biology is an effort to re-imagine biological science and technology in light of engineering. A further defining feature of synthetic biology has been the conspicuously rapid rise of research interest from scholars in the social sciences and humanities, even leading some to coin the term ‘para-synthetic biologist’ (Campos, 2012: 138).

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