Preparing synthetic biology for the world
Moe-Behrens GHG, Davis R, Haynes KA (2013) Front. Microbio. 4: 1-10. PMID: 23355834
Synthetic biology aims to develop self-replicating systems that are durable enough to operate reliably in complex environments such as the human gut, polluted soil, and other areas in which disease or toxins need to be remediated. Although helpful, this robustness in “open environments” (outside of the research lab) has raised concerns about lack of control of genetically engineered cells. In this review we discuss early development and advances (from the 1980’s to the present) in built-in, genetically encoded safety switches.