Synthetic Biology Publications

Seven Myths and Realities about Do-It-Yourself Biology

Mar 18, 2014
This report challenges seven widely held beliefs about DIYbio practitioners, particularly that anonymous scientists are cooking up deadly epidemics in their basements. In fact, the survey finds most lab work being done in the community is benign and that the vast majority of those surveyed perform their experiments in group workspaces with other enthusiasts. The report also includes six policy recommendations based on the survey results. more

The Nagoya Protocol and Synthetic Biology Research: A Look at the Potential Impacts

Nov 14, 2013
This report assesses how implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (NP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) may affect U.S. researchers working in the area of synthetic biology. It also analyzes selected provisions in CBD-related national legislation predating the NP that may be relevant for such researchers. more

Awareness & Impressions Of Synthetic Biology

Mar 20, 2013
There has been little change in public awareness of either synthetic biology or nanotechnology since previous surveys, according to this 2013 poll of more than 800 U.S. adults. In the poll, 23 percent of adults say they have heard a lot or some about synthetic biology, compared with 31 percent who say the same about nanotechnology. The most common associations that respondents make with synthetic biology are that it is unnatural, man-made, and artificial or that it has to do with reproducing life. more

Trends in American and European Press Coverage of Synthetic Biology: 2008 – 2011

Mar 01, 2013
Press coverage of synthetic biology in the United States and Europe increased significantly between 2008 and 2011. This report builds on the project’s earlier study of press coverage in the United States and Europe during the 2003-2008 period. The new report finds an increase in the sheer number of articles about synthetic biology. It further finds that this coverage is driven by high-profile events and that there are growing similarities in how the technology is covered in the United States and Europe. This report also highlights key recommendations from recent reports focused on the press and public engagement. more

Beyond the Laboratory and Far Away: Immediate and Future Challenges in Governing the Bio-economy

Dec 21, 2012
Today’s bio-economy, where info-, nano-, and biotechnology converge, has the potential to yield great advances in all sectors, including medicine and energy, by using advanced modes of manufacturing at an atomic scale while achieving reproducible results. This creative convergence sounds exciting, but scientific advances and technological innovation do not come without some risks. Policymakers need to adopt a critical perspective on governance approaches regarding the bio-economy, keeping in mind how it affects our intricate sociotechnical system, our regulatory cultures, and the evolving relationships between researchers, funders, industry and the public. more

The Next Industrial Revolution

Nov 20, 2012
The next industrial revolution will fundamentally change the way we make things, and where. Government needs to create policy frameworks that support the transition to a new manufacturing paradigm and we also need to have a public conversation about what this world should look like and what policies are needed to make sure that both society and the planet will benefit. more

Synthetic Biology Newsletter 2.0

Jul 18, 2010
This July 2011 issue of Synthetic Biology 2.0 looks at the work of the United States Presidential Bioethics Commission, the dominant discourse in the synthetic biology debate, vaccines as the first commercial applicaiton of synthetic biology, do-it-yourself biology, biosecurity, and biofiction where science and arts meet. more

Trends in American & European Press Coverage of Synthetic Biology

Mar 12, 2010
The increase in media coverage of synthetic biology between 2003-2008 is tracked in this 2008 report. The combined survey rests on the findings of individual U.S. and European press coverage analyses, and examines aspects of synthetic biology that may be cause for either potential public acceptance or rejection of the technology. The report concludes with an agenda for future social science research that can inform our understanding of how public perceptions of synthetic biology develop. more

New Life, Old Bottles

Mar 11, 2010
In New Life, Old Bottles: Regulating First-Generation Products of Synthetic Biology, Michael Rodemeyer examines the benefits and drawbacks of using the existing U.S. regulatory framework for biotechnology to cover the new products and processes enabled by synthetic biology. The safety of early applications of synthetic biology may be adequately addressed by the existing regulatory framework for biotechnology, especially in contained laboratories and manufacturing facilities, according to the report. But further advances in this emerging field are likely to create significant challenges for U.S. government oversight. more

Nanotechnology, Synthetic Biology, & Public Opinion

Mar 08, 2010
A groundbreaking poll of 1,001 U.S. adults conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates and the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies found 90 percent of Americans think that the public should be better informed about the development of cutting-edge technologies, according to this 2009 report summarizing the findings. more

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Dialogue

The Future of Higher Education

Mar 26, 2014Apr 02, 2014

Jeff Abernathy and Richard Morrill discuss how colleges and universities are dealing with rapidly rising costs and how the United States can still compete for students in a globalized environment.