By Kristin Hagen, Margret Engelhard, Georg Toepfer

"Synthetic biology" is the label of a brand new technoscientific box with many various points and agendas. One universal target is to "create life", essentially through the use of engineering rules to layout and regulate organic structures for human use. In a much broader context, the subject has develop into one of many monstrous instances within the legitimization strategies linked to the political time table to unravel worldwide issues of the help of (bio-)technological innovation. Conceptual-level and meta-level analyses are wanted: we should always deal with conceptual ambiguities to agree on what we discuss, and we have to spell out agendas to work out the disagreements clearly.

The e-book relies at the interdisciplinary summer time university "Analyzing the societal dimensions of man-made biology", which happened in Berlin in September 2014.

The contributions deal with arguable discussions round the philosophical exam, public notion, ethical overview and governance of artificial biology.

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Extra resources for Ambivalences of Creating Life: Societal and Philosophical Dimensions of Synthetic Biology

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Accessed 20th May 2015. The Synthetic Nature of Biology 19 During the 1990s, the field of metabolic engineering (two or more genes) emerged as an extension of genetic engineering (one gene) when the chemical engineer James Bailey realized that the microbial production of chemicals and antibiotics could be optimised if the metabolic resources of a cell could be adjusted, concluding that […] the emergence of a systematic paradigm for metabolic engineering will transform the present pharmaceutical, food, and chemical industries.

The repair of DSBs is possible by the activation of homologous recombination (HR), which is a “copy and paste” mechanism that requires an undamaged copy of the homologous DNA segment as a template for copying the DNA sequence along the break (Porteus and Carroll 2005). In the past, UV radiation, chemicals and restriction enzymes were used to induce DSBs, but these were random and could not be directed to predetermined sites (Jasin 1996). Nevertheless, the pioneering work of Mario Capecchi, Martin Evans and Oliver Smithies lead to a basic understanding of the HR mechanism for repairing DSBs.

8 Alternative genetic systems. On the top, the canonical DNA bases thymine (T) and adenine (A) forming two hydrogen bonds as well as cytosine (C) and guanine (G) forming three hydrogen bonds are shown. In the middle and bottom layers, unnatural DNA bases that are achieved by classical synthetic chemistry are depicted including Z and P, V and J, K and X, as well as isoC and isoG, all interacting via thee hydrogen bonds The Synthetic Nature of Biology 31 Although most xeno-nucleic acids (XNAs) are incompatible with living systems, very recently Holliger and colleagues described the directed evolution-based engineering of polymerases (enzymes that copy nucleic acids) that were capable of synthesizing XNA from a DNA template and from DNA back to XNA (Pinheiro et al.

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