"Basically, synthetic biology refers to creating genes from scratch. Instead of cutting and pasting DNA from, say, a strawberry into yeast, you type in the DNA that you want, print it out, and splice that into yeast — or whatever else you like."

"The key to the GMO argument — and now, by extension, the synthetic-biology discussion — is transparency. Tell customers the truth and, if they like what you are doing, they’ll fight for you. Try to hide what you are doing from customers and they’ll fight against you. If you are going to use synthetic biology to make your product greener, then come right out and say it — show us that it’s an actual benefit. If you are replacing palm oil with algae oil, show us the proof that the sugar you’re feeding the algae is causing less deforestation than palm oil. It’s a lot easier to have a rational public discussion if we know what we’re dealing with, rather than chasing phantoms."

Article on +Grist: http://ow.ly/xO2ht

The next front in the GMO war: Synthetic biology
A new wrinkle in bioscience could help save rainforests. Or maybe not. Let’s not shut down the debate before we even have it.

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