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Cracking the Code on Biology

By Samuel Greengard

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 59 No. 12, Pages 21-23

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As scientists look to unravel the secrets of life and address a diverse array of challenges involving medicine, agriculture, and more, they increasingly are tossing aside their test tubes and microscopes and diving directly into the genome.

Over the last decade, synthetic biology has emerged as an intriguing, if not remarkable, tool that could fundamentally change the world. The nascent concept, based on creating new sequences of DNA from scratch and rearranging existing ones, already is being used to mimic biological systems, create synthetic biological systems, and actually program biological systems.


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