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Oxford University Press
09 August 2018
Mathematics & Sciences; Genetics (non-medical); DNA & Genome
Synthetic biology is one of the 21st century's fastest growing fields of research, as important for technology as for basic science. Building on traditional genetic engineering, which was restricted to changing one or two genes, synthetic biology uses multi-gene modules and pathways to make very significant changes to what cells can do. Synthetic biologists aim to have an impact in fields as diverse as drug manufacture, biofuel production, tackling pollution, and medical diagnostics. Further ahead, synthetic biology may even make possible the long-standing goal of creating new life from non-living starting materials.

This Very Short Introduction provides a concise explanation of what synthetic biology is, and how it is beginning to affect many fields of technology. Jamie Davies also discusses the considerable controversies surrounding synthetic biology, from questions over the assumption that engineering concepts can be applied to living systems easily, to scepticism over the claims for commercial promise, fears that the dangers of engineering life are worse than its benefits, and concerns over whether humans should be designing living systems at all.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
By:   Jamie A. Davies (Professor of Experimental Anatomy University of Edinburgh)
Imprint:   Oxford University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 175mm,  Width: 113mm,  Spine: 10mm
Weight:   114g
ISBN:   9780198803492
ISBN 10:   0198803494
Series:   A Very Short Introduction
Pages:   144
Publication Date:   09 August 2018
Audience:   Adult education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Tertiary & Higher Education ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Jamie Davies joined the faculty of Edinburgh University Medical School in 1995 and was awarded Personal Chair in 2007. His research focuses on how the body builds itself, and how we might use that knowledge to build custom tissues. For the last 10 years, his lab has been pioneering the use of synthetic biology to make self-constructing tissues. He is the author of 7 books, including Life Unfolding (OUP, 2014), and has presented his work to the public in lectures, workshops, and BBC radio programmes.

Reviews for Synthetic Biology: A Very Short Introduction

A stimulating exposition of the intriguing and exciting field of synthetic biology. The coverage is both broad and well-balanced. An excellent book, accessible to all. * Professor Huabing Yin, Biomedical Engineering, University of Glasgow *


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