Monsters Inc: Rebooting Life in the era of Synthetic Biology
Synthetic biology is an emerging discipline which views nature as a tool box for constructing novel lifeforms with useful new properties. The advent of this technology, which will create lifeforms never before seen on this planet, may also profoundly affect our relationship with the natural world. In this seminar, we will review the technical advances that have made it possible to engineer new life forms and we will discuss current and future applications. In parallel, we will examine the social and ethical consequences of altering lifeforms and the consequences of doing so for the natural world. The seminar will help us understand the opportunities of synthetic biology, and the challenges and problems it presents to society.