Expert Analysis:
Synthetic Biology

July 8, 2016

Patient deaths halt clinical trial testing genetically engineered cells to treat cancer

Three patients have died in a clinical trial that is testing the use of genetically engineered immune cells known as CAR-T cells to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia in adults. Continue reading

June 2, 2016

‘Human Genome Project–Write’: Experts propose building synthetic human genome

Leading figures in synthetic biology have proposed a project to build large genomes from scratch, including human genomes, starting in 2016. Called the Human Genome Project – Write, the goal of the project is to test man-made genomes in cells within 10 years. Continue reading

May 13, 2016

Harvard meeting on synthesizing human genome questioned over secrecy

A project that would synthesize a complete human genome and test it in cells within 10 years was discussed at a meeting of scientists, ethicists, lawyers, and entrepreneurs at Harvard University on May 10. Continue reading

March 24, 2016

Venter Institute researchers reduce the genome of a synthetic cell down to genes essential for life

Craig Venter and colleagues have created a synthetic bacterial cell containing only the genes necessary for life, according to a paper in Science. The researchers say their method can be used to study the core functions of life and construct cells with desired properties. Continue reading

May 18, 2015

Yeast engineered for making morphine one step closer, raising concerns over ‘home-brew’ opiates

An elusive step in genetically engineering yeast to manufacture opiates from glucose has been achieved by researchers. Cautioning that this opens the door for production of ‘home-brewed’ opiates, experts have called for “fast and flexible regulation to protect the public and the research community.” Continue reading