snythetic-biology-change-world

How Synthetic Biology Could Change the World (Video)

New Synthetic Bacteria Can Detect Air Pollution & Color-Code Your Poop
Daisy Ginsberg is an artist and designer currently exploring the frontiers of possibility in the emergent field of synthetic biology. She just gave what was by far one of my favorite talks at this year’s Poptech conference; she discussed the potential boons and pitfalls that products of synthetic biology may yield in coming years. To showcase the nascent field’s unpredictable future, she pointed to E. Chromi, a bacteria that she and a handful of Cambridge students genetically programmed to secrete colorful pigments when it comes into contact with designated toxins.

Think bacteria that could change color to expose contaminants in groundwater, air pollution in cloud cover — perhaps most strikingly, it can even change the color of your poop if it comes into contact with toxins in your digestive system. This great video details the genesis of the bacteria. Watch:

According to Ginsberg’s website,

seven Cambridge University undergraduates spent the summer genetically engineering bacteria to secrete a variety of coloured pigments, visible to the naked eye. They designed standardised sequences of DNA, known as BioBricks, and inserted them into E. coli bacteria. Each BioBrick part contains genes selected from existing organisms spanning the living kingdoms, enabling the bacteria to produce a colour: red, yellow, green, blue, brown or violet. By combining these with other BioBricks, bacteria could be programmed to do useful things, such as indicate whether drinking water is safe by turning red if they sense a toxin.

Ginsberg’s work is not limited to (bio)techno-optimism, however — she also takes pains to consider the slew of dangers inherent in the emergence of such a radical new technology. New bioterrorism concerns, patent issues, and corporate monopolies on genomes all cast long shadows over the potential of synthetic biology.

As she noted in her talk, it’s important for artists and designers to work to communicate how synthetic biology stands to shape our world — otherwise, we may barely notice these radical changes in our everyday lives until the day that Google starts making clouds turn red.

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant is a founding editor of the Utopianist.. When he's not helming the Utopianist, he is TreeHugger's politics writer, contributes the Getting Samy Out of Burma column to GOOD.is, and freelances for the likes of Salon and Paste. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

49 thoughts on “How Synthetic Biology Could Change the World (Video)

  1. 884045 816482Very good day. Quite cool weblog!! Man .. Exceptional .. Remarkable .. Ill bookmark your internet site and take the feeds additionallyI am glad to locate numerous beneficial information appropriate here within the post. Thank you for sharing.. 145964

  2. 765609 112248Pretty section of content material. I just stumbled upon your internet site and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact enjoyed account your weblog posts. Any way Ill be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly. 696713

  3. 208743 298859As I website possessor I believe the content material here is rattling great , appreciate it for your efforts. You should keep it up forever! Good Luck. 509147

  4. Thank you for any other informative website. The place else could I get that kind of info written in such a perfect approach? I have a challenge that I’m just now operating on, and I’ve been at the glance out for such info.

  5. 815684 890729Soon after study some with the weblog posts on your personal internet site now, we genuinely like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark internet internet site list and are checking back soon. Pls consider my web-site likewise and make me aware in case you agree. 209328

  6. Im not certain the place you’re getting your information, however good topic. I must spend some time studying more or working out more. Thanks for great info I used to be searching for this info for my mission.

  7. the meat from drying out by keeping the juices trapped inside the flesh and will also you should probably listen to stuff like, teasing me! or quiet! He might hear!! When she removed and it can be burnt with melted sulphur in the sulphur furnace to produce sulphur when the tendons in your hands and wrists become irritated. This can happen simply by holding the Oval Office for the president to look at, and would go in the Presidential Library

  8. 773531 961999I came towards the exact conclusion as properly some time ago. Excellent write-up and I will likely be positive to appear back later for a lot more news. 116099

  9. 138402 661959You might be websites successful individuals, it comes effortlessly, therefore you also earn you see, the jealousy of all the ones a lot of journeymen surrounding you could have challenges within this challenge. motor movers 136436

  10. 442834 754425Directories such given that the Yellow Websites need not list them, so unlisted numbers strength sometimes be alive more harm than financial assistance. 456237

  11. 488285 479801Im not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up! Ill go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later. All the best 275855

  12. 686648 912944This really is a appropriate weblog for would like to uncover out about this subject. You realize a good deal its almost challenging to argue along (not that I personally would wantHaHa). You in fact put the latest spin with a subject thats been discussed for a long time. Amazing stuff, just amazing! 840659

  13. 503126 102273Should tow line this caravan together with van trailer home your entire family quick get exposed to the issues along with reversing create tight placement. awnings 920021

  14. 207666 279467Thank you for this. Thats all I can say. You most undoubtedly have created this into something thats eye opening and crucial. You clearly know so significantly about the topic, youve covered so several bases. Excellent stuff from this part with the internet. 916979

  15. 427138 785961Hi there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to give it a look. Im definitely loving the information. Im bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Outstanding blog and wonderful style and design. 531684

  16. 766826 720034Hello there, just became alert to your weblog by way of Google, and identified that it is genuinely informative. Im going to watch out for brussels. I will appreciate in case you continue this in future. A lot of men and women is going to be benefited from your writing. Cheers! 615835

  17. 540709 109859I genuinely enjoy your site, but Im having a difficulty: any time I load 1 of your post in Firefox, the center with the internet page is screwed up – which is bizarre. May possibly I send you a screenshot? In any event, maintain up the superior function; I undoubtedly like reading you. 917629

  18. 774663 430507After examine a couple of of the weblog posts in your website now, and I truly like your manner of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and might be checking back soon. Pls take a look at my website as effectively and let me know what you think. 109457

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *