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    ABSTRACT: Since it was launched in 2006, PLOS ONE has published over fifty articles illustrating the many facets of the emerging field of synthetic biology. This article reviews these publications by organizing them into broad categories focused on DNA synthesis and assembly techniques, the development of libraries of biological parts, the use of synthetic biology in protein engineering applications, and the engineering of gene regulatory networks and metabolic pathways. Finally, we review articles that describe enabling technologies such as software and modeling, along with new instrumentation. In order to increase the visibility of this body of work, the papers have been assembled into the PLOS ONE Synthetic Biology Collection (www.ploscollections.org/synbio). Many of the innovative features of the PLOS ONE web site will help make this collection a resource that will support a lively dialogue between readers and authors of PLOS ONE synthetic biology papers. The content of the collection will be updated periodically by including relevant articles as they are published by the journal. Thus, we hope that this collection will continue to meet the publishing needs of the synthetic biology community.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(8):e43231. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Synthetic Biology promises low-cost, exponentially scalable products and global health solutions in the form of self-replicating organisms, or "living devices." As these promises are realized, proof-of-concept systems will gradually migrate from tightly regulated laboratory or industrial environments into private spaces as, for instance, probiotic health products, food, and even do-it-yourself bioengineered systems. What additional steps, if any, should be taken before releasing engineered self-replicating organisms into a broader user space? In this review, we explain how studies of genetically modified organisms lay groundwork for the future landscape of biosafety. Early in the design process, biological engineers are anticipating potential hazards and developing innovative tools to mitigate risk. Here, we survey lessons learned, ongoing efforts to engineer intrinsic biocontainment, and how different stakeholders in synthetic biology can act to accomplish best practices for biosafety.
    Frontiers in Microbiology 01/2013; 4:5. · 3.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The emerging field of synthetic biology holds tremendous potential for developing novel drugs to treat various human conditions. The current study discusses the scope of synthetic biology for human therapeutics via microbial approach. In this context, synthetic biology aims at designing, engineering and building new microbial synthetic cells that do not pre-exist in nature as well as re-engineer existing microbes for synthesis of therapeutic products. It is expected that the construction of novel microbial genetic circuitry for human therapeutics will greatly benefit from the data generated by 'omics' approaches and multidisciplinary nature of synthetic biology. Development of novel antimicrobial drugs and vaccines by engineering microbial systems are a promising area of research in the field of synthetic biology for human theragnostics. Expression of plant based medicinal compounds in the microbial system using synthetic biology tools is another avenue dealt in the present study. Additionally, the study suggest that the traditional medicinal knowledge can do value addition for developing novel drugs in the microbial systems using synthetic biology tools. The presented work envisions the success of synthetic biology for human therapeutics via microbial approach in a holistic manner. Keeping this in view, various legal and socio-ethical concerns emerging from the use of synthetic biology via microbial approach such as patenting, biosafety and biosecurity issues have been touched upon in the later sections.
    Systems and Synthetic Biology 06/2012; 6(1-2):9-22.

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