Team:UNAM-Genomics Mexico/About/Synthetic Biology


What is it?

Synthetic Biology has many definitions. Being a novel discipline, it has many approaches, logics, and philosophies. Here we briefly present some of them.


"Synthetic biology is a new area of biological research that combines science and engineering. Synthetic biology encompasses a variety of different approaches, methodologies and disciplines, and many different definitions exist. What they all have in common, however, is that they see synthetic biology as the design and construction of new biological functions and systems not found in nature."

Synthetic Biology is:

A) the design and construction of new biological parts, devices, and systems, and

B) the re-design of existing, natural biological systems for useful purposes.

Christina Smolke

"The application of engineering design principles to do construction, characterization, and design of biological systems"

If you don't know who Christina Smolke is, ask Drew Endy...

Our View

We, the UNAM-Genomics_Mexico Team think Synthetic Biology is more a way of viewing biology than anything else. We see cells as hyper-complex machines composed of simple sub-machines. It is a form of thinking much like Systems Biology. As cells are therefore chassis for machinery, one can re-organize said machinery with parts from a different chassis, or create new parts to import into the chassis. In some ways, we think as engineers.

Of course, sooner or later we have to incorporate the biological perspective to explain the chaos inside the chassis, the reason why plasmids refuse to work, why cells refuse to grow...


For more information, visit this Wikipedia link or the site.



iGEM is the International Genetically Engineered Machines Competition, held each year at MIT and organized with support of the Parts Registry. See more here.

Synthetic Biology

This is defined as attempting to manipulate living objects as if they were man-made machines, specifically in terms of genetic engineering. See more here.


We are students on the Genomic Sciences program at the Center for Genomic Sciences of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, campus Morelos. See more here.

Locations of visitors to this page

This site is best viewed with a Webkit based Browser (eg: Google's Chrome, Apple's Safari),

or a Gecko one (eg: Mozilla's Firefox, Netscape). Some of the code requires an up-to-date browser.

Trident based (Microsoft's Internet Explorer) or Presto based (Opera) are not currently supported. Sorry.