Grades: 4th - 5th
Synthetic biology is a young field with promises of finding solutions to issues such as water and environmental pollution, making more nutritional food, treating cancer and other medical conditions, cleaner energy, and improving computer power. Biologists, electrical engineers, and computer scientists merged forces to develop this venture. Taking the approach of design, test, build enables participants to work together to develop methods of standardization, abstraction, and synthesis that are used while engineering biological systems. The genetic code of G, A, T, C can be written and programmed at the cellular level inexpensively with a predictable outcome. In order for this coding to occur, DNA must be able to be sequenced and synthesized.
These processes and others require specialized equipment and protocols that have been shared with biotechnology. All of this has helped to develop a registry of standardized parts available for use in assemblies. This database has been developed through an international effort. http://biobricks.org/ about-foundation/. As the field of synthetic biology expands, so will the parts registry and applications of this technology.
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Fusion, "Synthetic Scorecard" (2020). Fusion. 7.