Document Type

Teacher Resource

Grade Level

Grades: 4th - 5th

Publication Date



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.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.