Haynes is an assistant professor in the
The field combines biological sciences and engineering in designing and creating new manufactured biological systems and devices, as well as redesigning existing natural biological systems to maintain and enhance human health.
Researchers are using the capabilities of synthetic biology to probe the fundamental makeup of biological systems, enabling them to do things such as modifying and reprogramming body cells and DNA to perform medicinal functions. Such techniques are also being used in plant biology to enhance agriculture.
The rapid advance of synthetic biology has prompted discussions about how to weigh the benefits of the research against potential social and ethical implications, and concerns about safety.
Haynes and two colleagues -
Evans is a research fellow at Dow AgroSciences, a part of
Keasling is the chief executive officer of the
The speakers stressed the importance of increasing public awareness of synthetic biology as a way to foster confidence about the methods and the goals of researchers. "We want to inform more people to prevent unfounded fears that might hinder work that has great value for addressing society's needs," Haynes said after the briefing.
The audience was also told it will be increasingly important to have experts in the field working with the
"We hope we convinced everyone at the briefing that sustained support for biomedical engineering is in the best interests of the nation," Haynes said.
TNS 30TagarumaMar-140719-4802667 30TagarumaMar
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