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John Cumbers and a team of synthetic biologists are offering a one-day course on the subject in San Francisco. The course is aimed at makers and programmers, and designed to give a comprehensive introduction into synthetic biology. Last week, I learned that we’re much closer to DIY synthetic biology than many of us realize. This course should be a good primer.

You will get an introduction to the world of biology, biotechnology and synthetic biology. We start with an input/output approach to biological systems, then explain where biological molecules come from and how they are formed, what they look like and how they perform such a wide variety of functions. We then see how these very same properties of native cell function allow us to probe, manipulate, and modify cell function. With this core knowledge in hand, we’ll discuss state of the art industry applications, such as the ability of biological systems to produce a huge variety of chemicals including alcohols, fuels and drugs and what modern methods are used for the manipulation of biological systems. We will cover how biological systems compute and perform logic, and how biology can be engineered for such activities. The risks and benefits of genetically modified organisms will be discussed and the start-up and industry landscape and new technologies will be reviewed.

More info and a course application can be found on their website: http://synb.org/

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David Lang

Co-Founder of OpenROV, a community of DIY ocean explorers and makers of low-cost underwater robots. Author of Zero to Maker. And on Twitter!


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