Welcome to the Genomics Forum blog

Based at The University of Edinburgh, the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum is part of the ESRC Genomics Network and pioneers new ways to promote and communicate social research on the contemporary life sciences.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Grow me a Robot, Skylar!

Just a quick one. I'm just starting to think about synthetic biology...and what I carried in my head as a definition of this was the idea of people building novel organic forms...like clones...

Or chimeras...mice with DNA from other organisms...or with chunks of genomes missing...so we can test what the missing parts do...that kind of thing.

Or nanotechnology...manipulating natural substances...like oil...at the genetic level to make them do what we want for efficiently.

All fascinating, wierd, stressful. Everything I enjoy.

What I hadn't really appreciated properly was that there is a lot of thinking going on in the opposite direction...learning from how nature builds things so that we can build things better.

Check this out: and keep watching till he gets to the bit about "Biased Chains"

TED talks highlight some good showy science stuff from unfeasible teenagers like Skylar Tibbits here...as well as legends like James Watson and George Gamow.

There is no end to what's out there. Almost makes it worth getting up in the morning.

Peter Arnott is Resident Playwright at the ESRC Genomics Forum April 2011 - April 2012. Appointed in partnership with the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh, Peter will be hosting a number of public engagements as he explores ideas and seeks inspiration for a genomics related play.

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