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Synthetic Biology: Applications in the Food Sector

Tyagi, Ashish, Kumar, Ashwani, Aparna, S. V., Mallappa, Rashmi H., Grover, Sunita, Batish, Virender Kumar
Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 2016 v.56 no.11 pp. 1777-1789
automation, bioenergy, biopharmaceuticals, bioremediation, dairy products, food industry, food storage, genes, genetic code, humans, issues and policy, medicine, models, momentum, monitoring, packaging, sequence analysis, synthetic biology, systems engineering
Synthetic biology also termed as “genomic alchemy” represents a powerful area of science that is based on the convergence of biological sciences with systems engineering. It has been fittingly described as “moving from reading the genetic code to writing it” as it focuses on building, modeling, designing and fabricating novel biological systems using customized gene components that result in artificially created genetic circuitry. The scientifically compelling idea of the technological manipulation of life has been advocated since long time. Realization of this idea has gained momentum with development of high speed automation and the falling cost of gene sequencing and synthesis following the completion of the human genome project. Synthetic biology will certainly be instrumental in shaping the development of varying areas ranging from biomedicine, biopharmaceuticals, chemical production, food and dairy quality monitoring, packaging, and storage of food and dairy products, bioremediation and bioenergy production, etc. However, potential dangers of using synthetic life forms have to be acknowledged and adoption of policies by the scientific community to ensure safe practice while making important advancements in the ever expanding field of synthetic biology is to be fully supported and implemented.