Synthetic biology is still a very young interdisciplinary branch of the life sciences. While biology – in the classical sense – is still primarily understood as a descriptive science, in more recent years, an analytical discipline has been developing under the label of "systems biology". For the first time, it tries to capture and describe biological entities through the close interaction between high-resolution data gathering in molecular biology and mathematical modelling.
Synthetic biology should thus be understood as a consistent continuation of this venture, even if it boasts a more creative approach. Indeed, in the context of synthetic biology, biological systems are significantly modified through the insertion of new functional modules or characteristics. With the help of chemically synthesised components, this can go so far as the creation of new biological entities, which did not previously exist in nature. The research questions considered as well as the methodical approaches stem from biology, molecular genetics, chemistry, physics, medicine, computer science as well as engineering.
Prof. Dr. Kirsten Jung
(Faculty of Biology, Molecular Microbiology, LMU)