Team:TzuChiU Formosa/HumanPractice


Revision as of 03:36, 28 October 2010 by Sumi (Talk | contribs)



Over the past decade, synthetic biology has emerged as a new star within the fields of life science and engineering which brings biology, chemistry, genetics as well as engineering even closer to form a promising field of scientific research. Conventional biologist sees biology as how a nature (organism) works in macro, and what supports a nature (organism) in micro. While synthetic biologist intended to build and introduce a man-made system into living organisms to fulfill their needs. To achieve their goal, synthetic biologists require extra tools such as mathematics and statistics to strengthen their success-very often during the process. They have to introduce new “'''parts'''” as “'''systems'''” into the living organism. Engineers see biology as technology. Engineers and biologists have been cooperating long in biotechnology field to design computer or machine. Machine helps biologist to achieve a better accuracy in measurement, further reaching the boundaries in medicinal field, providing finer resolution images for researchers and etc. In synthetic biology, engineers helped to design “circuit board” and “chipsets” in biological systems, to produce energy (biofuel), food (GMO products), drug (insulin), ''de novo'' DNA synthesis and etc. And there is more emerging applications in this field, and some of them come from our iGEMers. Despite synthetic biology all began with the idea to bring benefits for human in agriculture, industry, science and medicine, some conservatives are shouting for a stop to those who are “playing God”. Some are afraid that genetic modification or alteration will give rise to harmful impact in a long run. And thus, safety, security and ethic issues are very important among synthetic biologist when it comes to HUMAN PRACTICE.

Our project

Our current project, “'''Nutrient Synthesizer'''” aimed to resolve the problem of land unpredictble werather and food supply shortage in underdeveloped countries. The importance of this project could be foreseen in the near future because the weather has become more unpredictable (water shortage, extreme heat or cold and etc.) and overwhelming population. “Nutrient Synthesizer” is created to solve nutrients deficiency problem. Thus, we hope that Nutrient Synthesizer can synthesize nutrients and intake by human body rapidly. Before proceeding to human practice, we have the responsibility to verify the safety problem which may cause by microorganisms or the created synthetic life form. We hereby introduce a “Vector” or “Carrier system” which can be easily manipulated and cultured. In our current research, we are using ''E.Coli'' as our nutrient production machine. However, in the future before proceeding to human practice, we plan to introduce the same parts into a vector system which is not harmful and which is able to coexist with human. For instance, lactobacillus in human intestine is a good carrier system in our project.


Since synthetic biology will be the main stream of science and everyday knowledge, it will be very important for us to start educating the next generation of people about the pros and cons about synthetic biology. Teaching them how to judge wisely like what the biologist did for the past decades on animal studies are very crucial.