Lecture: Genetic Engineering: Your Next Hobby

Synthetic biology is a young scientific field that predicates the application of basic engineering principles to living creatures for useful purposes. This implies the modification, control, design and prediction of biological entities or systems that do not exist in Nature.

The basic ingredients for doing genetic engineering and synthetic biology have become cheaper and cheaper over the years, making these technologies accessible to almost anyone. This has lead to spaces and groups appearing all over the world in which people are experimenting with this technology in their spare time. The DIYBio/Biohacking community is a mix of experienced biologists and enthusiastic amateurs all doing biology for fun (and sometimes even for profit). Ilya Levantis, a director of London Biohackspace, will give an outline of what this new hobby entails.

As synthetic biology and related technologies become more accessible, there is a real need for scientists and the general public to critically engage with the different social, ethical, economical and cultural complexities of the field. Hybrid disciplines combining science, media, education, art or design redefine the way people can explore these questions, stretching the boundaries of the field and challenging the conceptual and technical aspects of synthetic biology. Synthetic biologist Helena Shomar has been exploring as a scientist the diversity and the importance of these novel approaches.


Day: 2015-11-07
Start time: 15:15
Duration: 00:45
Room: C361
Track: Biohacking



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