Monday, July 02, 2007

Synthia v Dolly in a race for the border

This week (July 2 - 6) in Paris, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity's scientific subcommittee is meeting to discuss climate change and the role synthetic biology might play in potential solutions for renewable energy. This meeting follows closely on the heels of the announcement, in a report, by J. Craig Venter and co from Synthetic Genomics Inc, that they had replaced the DNA of one bacterium into another - effectively creating an entirely new species. One, not-so-obvious question for those non-specialists among us following these developments is how synthetic organisms will fit into the current legal and regulatory framework. The ETC Group for example asks if the global movements of such organisms will be governed by the Cartagena Protocol - the treaty on transboundary movements of GMOs.
Oh, and Synthia was the oh-so-clever name given to the synthetic microbe being developed by Synthetic Genomics.
You can hear Venter discuss this research on NPR's Science Friday.

posted by ryan griffis  # 4:30 PM

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