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access icon openaccess Synthetic biology, engineering biology, market expectation

‘Engineering biology’ is being increasingly adopted as a term by organisations that seek to deliver benefits from ‘synthetic biology’. However, are ‘engineering biology’ and ‘synthetic biology’ different words with the same meaning or do they signal important differences? By observing how these two terms are currently being described and applied in practice, it is possible to differentiate the two whilst also acknowledging significant overlaps and complementarity. Increasing adoption of the term ‘engineering biology’ reflects the maturing of synthetic biology since the early years of this century from a research concept to a technological platform that is facilitating the delivery of commercial products and services. The term ‘synthetic biology’ retains a strong association with its original goal to help make biology engineerable, a challenge that will inevitably continue to stimulate research for decades to come as ever more complex and demanding systems are tackled. In comparison, the term ‘engineering biology’ relates more commonly to the utilisation of the synthetic biology platform alongside other related technologies to deliver effective solutions in response to increasing market challenges and expectations.

http://iet.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1049/enb.2020.0021
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