Art exhibition synth-ethic
1st Bio:Fiction Science, Art & Film Festival
Biotech-labs around the world are busy in the field of Synthetic Biology – a new approach to engineer “life” and living systems. Synthetic biology aims at applying engineering principles to biology. The DNA of an organism is no longer manipulated, but programmed on a computer and built up from scratch. Bio:Fiction is the Synthetic Biology Science, Art and Film Festival, taking place at the Museum of Natural History in Vienna, Austria from 13-14th of May 2011. The Bio:Fiction festival provides information and dialogue about synthetic biology in an attractive, factual and entertaining way. Bio:Fiction invites you to examine this new science and technology from a variety of different angles:
1) Film festival: Bio:Fiction is the world’s first synthetic biology film festival. Our call for submissions in 2010 triggered 130 short films. The films are judged by a jury composed of filmmakers and synbio scientists. Several award categories will honour the best short films, covering science documentaries, science fiction films and plain fictional narratives. More…
2) Science talks and panel discussions: Bio:Fiction will host two days of scientific talks and panel discussions on the science, the societal issues, applications, design, art and future outlook of synthetic biology. The program is suitable scientists, students, the media and of course the general public to allow for an interdisciplinary program and exchange of ideas. More…
3) Art exhibition ‘Synth-ethic’: The Festival marks also the beginning of the synbio art exhibition ‘Synth-ethics’ in the Museum, that presents biotech art objects related to synthetic biology. The exhibition will feature 10 artist and will last from May 14th to June 26th. More…
New Bioethics Publication
Meeting of the US Presidential Bioethics Commission
Speakers include Craig Venter, Drew Endy, George Church, and other leaders in synthetic biology, as well as experts in ethics, policy, regulation and government. Markus Schmidt from IDC will be the only European speaker at the meeting.
Following last May’s announcement that scientists had created a self-replicating cell containing an entirely synthetic genome, President Obama asked the Bioethics Commission to study the implications of this technology. He asked the Commission to issue a report within six months and to recommend to him any actions it thinks the federal government should take to maximize benefits and minimize risks associated with this technology, while identifying appropriate ethical boundaries.
All Commission meetings are free and open to the public. The meeting will be live-streamed and archived on the Commission website at www.bioethics.gov. Transcripts will be posted on the website after the meeting.
Five new EuroSYNBIO projects funded
Collaborative Research Projects (CRPs)
List of EuroSYNBIO funded projects
|Project Acronym||Project Name|
|SYNAPTA||Encoded synthesis, replication and evolution of unnatural nucleic acid therapeutics|
|SynDiv||Synthetic Biology of the Bacterial Cell Division|
|SynMet||A synthetic Biology Approach for Engineering of Bacterial Methylotrophy|
|SYNMOD||Synthetic biology to obtain novel antibiotics and optimized production systems|
Xenobiology: A new form of life as the ultimate biosafety tool
Schmidt M. 2010. Xenobiology: A new form of life as the ultimate biosafety tool. BioEssays Vol.32(4): 322-331
For further information see also:
- ORTHOSOME: An Orthogonal Episome: an Artificial Genetic System Based on a Novel Type of Nucleic Acids
- Marliere P. 2009. The farther, the safer: a manifesto for securely navigating synthetic species away from the old living world. Systems and Syntheitc Biology. Vol.3(1-4):77-84
- Herdewijn P, Marlière P. 2009. Toward Safe Genetically Modified Organisms through the Chemical Diversification of Nucleic Acids. Chemistry & Biodiversity. Vol. 6, Iss. 6: 791 – 808
“BioEssays” Special Issue on Synthetic Biology
- Synthetic Biology: Something old, something new. . . (Victor de Lorenzo, editor of special issue)
- How did LUCA make a living? Chemiosmosis in the origin of life (Nick Lane, John F. Allen and William Martin)
- Evolution of reduced prokaryotic genomes and the minimal cell concept: Variations on a theme (Luis Delaye and Andre´s Moya)
- Research on small genomes: implications for synthetic biology (Lisa Klasson and Siv G. E. Andersson)
- Building artificial cells and protocell models: Experimental approaches with lipid vesicles (Pater Walde)
- A powerful toolkit for synthetic biology: Over 3.8 billion years of evolution (Lynn J. Rothschild)
- The Juggernauts of Biology (Isaac T. Yonemoto and Eric M. Tippmann)
- Xenobiology: A new form of life as the ultimate biosafety tool (Markus Schmidt)
- Mammalian Synthetic Biology – From Tools to Therapies (Dominique Aubel and Martin Fussenegger)
- Numbers on the edges: A simplified and scalable method for quantifying the Gene Regulation Function (Raul Fernandez-Lopez, Irene del Campo, Rau´ l Ruiz, Val Lanza, Luis Vielva and Fernando de la Cruz)
- Microbial systems engineering: First successes and the way ahead (Sven Dietz and Sven Panke)
EC Workshop on SynBio: From Science to Governance
The aim of this workshop is to provide a clear overview of existing developments and to try to foresee the likely time-scale of future applications. Furthermore, it will be a good opportunity to discuss the main challenges (in governance, social, ethical and legal issues) facing the field of synthetic biology as well as the possible approaches for tackling these challenges.
Should you be interested in attending the workshop, please send a message to the following mailbox: SANCO-Synthetic-Biology@ec.europa.eu by 28 February 2010.
Austrian-Chinese workshop on synthetic biology and biosafety
SYNBIOSAFE Documentary Film out now!
The SYNBIOSAFE DVD contains a 38 min. documentary film plus some 15 in-depth expert interviews.
Special Issue on Societal issues of Synthetic Biology
- Special issue: societal aspects of synthetic biology. By Markus Schmidt
- Synthetic biology in society: learning from past experience? By Helge Torgersen
- Communicating Synthetic Biology: from the lab via the media to the broader public. By Nicole Kronberger, Peter Holtz, Wolfgang Kerbe, Ewald Strasser and Wolfgang Wagner
- Pictures of Synthetic Biology. A reflective discussion of the representation of Synthetic Biology (SB) in the German-language media and by SB experts. By Amelie Cserer and Alexandra Seiringer
- Review of quantitative and qualitative studies on U.S. public perceptions of synthetic biology. By Eleonore Pauwels
- Playing God? Synthetic biology as a theological and ethical challenge. By Peter Dabrock
- Synthetic organisms and living machines: Positioning the products of synthetic biology at the borderline between living and non-living matter. By Anna Deplazes and Markus Huppenbauer
- Social and ethical checkpoints for bottom-up synthetic biology, or protocells. By Mark A. Bedau, Emily C. Parke, Uwe Tangen and Brigitte Hantsche-Tangen
- The farther, the safer: a manifesto for securely navigating synthetic species away from the old living world. By Philippe Marliere
- Ensuring the security of synthetic biology—towards a 5P governance strategy. By Alexander Kelle
- Professionalization as a governance strategy for synthetic biology. By Lorna Weir and Michael J. Selgelid
- Synthetic biology: ethical ramifications 2009. By Paul Rabinow and Gaymon Bennett
- Shaping the science–industry–policy interface in synthetic biology. By Sibylle Gaisser and Thomas Reiss
- Aspects of the political economy of development and synthetic biology. By Rachel Wellhausen and Gautam Mukunda
- Information of the chassis and information of the program in synthetic cells. By Antoine Danchin
- A priority paper for the societal and ethical aspects of synthetic biology. By Markus Schmidt, Agomoni Ganguli-Mitra, Helge Torgersen, Alexander Kelle, Anna Deplazes and Nikola Biller-Andorno
To access the articles, click here.
Ethics and synthetic biology in Nature Biotechnology
The authors from SYNBIOSAFE explain how key scientists in Europe, working on synthetic biology, approach the ethical challenges poses by synthetic biology. Based on on a number of expert interviews (see also the supplementary material) the authors give an insight how leading synthetic biologists in Europe view relevant ethical issues, and show the similarities and differences compared to US-american scientists.
More info about the article Ganguli-Mitra A, Schmidt M, Torgersen H, Deplazes A & Biller-Andorno N. 2009. Of Newtons and heretics. Nature Biotechnology. Vol 27(4):321 – 322 can be found at thewebsite of Nature Biotechnology
Biosafety Interview in “Spektrum der Wissenschaften”
The 30 year anniversary special issue of “Spektrum der Wissenschaften” ran a 10 page special on synthetic biology, including a full page interview with Markus Schmidt, the coordinator of the SYNBIOSAFE project on the ethical, safety and security issues of synthetic biology.
International SYNBIOSAFE Workshop held in Vienna
The workshop was attended by SB scientists, social scientists, ethicists, safety and security researchers and experts on technology assessment from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. The one day workshop was organised by IDC as part of their SYNBIOSAFE project activities. During the workshop four major areas – represented in the SYNBIOSAFE priority paper – were presented and discussed:
The outcome of the workshop will be part of the final SYNBIOSAFE priority paper on societal issues of synthetic biology, that is expected to be released at the end of December 2008.
COSY: Communicating Synthetic Biology
- how the new scientific field of Synthetic Biology (SB) is introduced in public discourse;
- what happens when scientific findings about SB become news stories; how technological innovation gets covered and transformed in communication;
- what information recipients consider relevant to form an opinion on a new and unknown issue that holds the potential to disrupt long-held beliefs;
- how a discourse emerges among scientists, regulators, mediators and in special publics; how the issue gets framed and defined in different settings and what is considered a risk or a benefit;
- how other issues of modern biotechnology have been covered in the media in comparison, and what is specific to SB;
- how gender implications of SB are discussed and perceived in context.
- how principles of knowledge transformation can be applied to forge a realistic discourse between science and society.
For more information regarding COSY, you can visit the COSY project website here.