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European Biopharmaceutical Review

The Authenticity of Synthetics

Synthetic biology is a newly coined term for the design and construction of novel artificial biological pathways, organisms, or devices or the redesign of existing natural biological systems (1). Generally, it assumes an element of scale and the application of engineering-like techniques to solve biological problems through a rational process of ‘biodesign’. The field of synthetic biology brings together skills from biology and chemistry to computing, bioinformatics, and engineering. This emerging field is greatly anticipated to deliver significant and broad impact across a range of potential applications, among them the drug discovery and development field. However, to achieve its full potential, synthetic biology will require the continued development and convergence of its underlying skills and disciplines to enable the rational and predictable design of biological systems. As DNA is a fundamental building block of synthetic biology, the key to its success will be the ability to synthesise DNA at scale and with high accuracy.

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Dr Tim Brears is CEO at Evonetix, where he leads the company in developing a benchtop DNA writer to transition DNA synthesis from a service industry to one where scientists can make genes at will. He holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK, and has an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, US.
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