The power of synthetic biology for bioproduction, remediation and pollution control
Author(s)De Lorenzo, Victor; Prather, Kristala L; Chen, Guo‐Qiang; O'Day, Elizabeth; Kameke, Conrad; Oyarzún, Diego A; Hosta‐Rigau, Leticia; Alsafar, Habiba; Cao, Cong; Ji, Weizhi; Okano, Hideyuki; Roberts, Richard J; Ronaghi, Mostafa; Yeung, Karen; Zhang, Feng; Lee, Sang Yup; ... Show more Show less
The UN's Sustainable Development Goals will inevitably require the application of molecular biology and biotechnology on a global scale
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The agenda of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1 challenges the synthetic biology community—and the life sciences as a whole—to develop transformative technologies that help to protect, even expand our planet's habitability. While modern tools for genome editing already benefit applications in health and agriculture, sustainability also asks for a dramatic transformation of our use of natural resources. The challenge is not just to limit and, wherever possible revert emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases, but also to replace environmentally costly processes based on fossil fuels with bio‐based sustainable alternatives. This task is not exclusively a scientific and technical one but will also require guidelines and regulations for the development and large‐scale deployment of this new type of bio‐based production. Some recent advances that can (or soon could) enable us to make progress in these areas—and several possible governance principles—need to be addressed.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Chemical Engineering; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT
Lorenzo, Víctor, et al. “The Power of Synthetic Biology for Bioproduction, Remediation and Pollution Control: The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Will Inevitably Require the Application of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology on a Global Scale.” EMBO Reports 19, 4 (April 2018). © 2018 The Authors
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