Synthetic biology future applications and technology needs

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This page collects together some ideas about potential future applications for synthetic biology, broken down by technology readiness levels.

TRL Application Comments
0 Synthetic cells Ability to design and implement cell-like systems containing multiple subsystems to enable energy generation/transfer, sensing, actuation (export of chemicals, movement), decision-making, memory and other functions. Individual functions have been demonstrated in isolation, but limited demonstration of integrated synthetic cells are available. The Biuld-Aa-Cell consortium is organized around this problem.
7 Metabolic engineering The use of engineered metabolic pathways to make (relatively simple) chemicals is an active area of business, with chemicals ranging from insulin to spider silk to food products. The basic technology is implementation of a enzymatic pathway to produce a biologically tractable chemical in a fermentable organism (e.g., yeast, E. coli).