What is synthetic biology?



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    Synthetic biology is the design and construction of new biological functions and systems not found in nature. It can involve synthesis on various levels. For example, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (commonly referred to as Mad Cow Disease) involves a biological entity called a “prion.” Since a prion is not a bacterium or a virus, prions can be difficult to destroy, thus making Mad Cow Disease a difficult disorder to combat. The same is true of the human form (CJD, or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease). It is possible that such a disorder could be combated by a synthetically generated biological entity that could locate and bind to improperly folded prions, disable them, and flush them out of the body, thus fighting the disease.

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