Synthetic Biology: Research Needs for Assessing Environmental Impacts

  • Christopher M. WarnerEmail author
  • Sarah R. Carter
  • Richard F. Lance
  • Fiona H. Crocker
  • Heather N. Meeks
  • Bryn L. Adams
  • Matthew L. Magnuson
  • Taylor Rycroft
  • Kaytee Pokrzywinski
  • Edward J. Perkins
Part of the Risk, Systems and Decisions book series (RSD)


Synthetic biology refers to the design and construction of new biological entities such as enzymes, genetic circuits, and cells or the redesign of existing biological systems (Keasling 2005). This capability is rooted in traditional molecular biology and engineering and incorporates newer techniques, including de novo DNA synthesis, CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-based genome editing, and xenobiology. Synthetic biology, along with a wide range of emerging tools and techniques, will enable a new generation of biotechnology products of unprecedented scale and complexity over the next 5–10 years (NASEM 2017a).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher M. Warner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sarah R. Carter
    • 2
  • Richard F. Lance
    • 1
  • Fiona H. Crocker
    • 1
  • Heather N. Meeks
    • 3
  • Bryn L. Adams
    • 4
  • Matthew L. Magnuson
    • 5
  • Taylor Rycroft
    • 1
  • Kaytee Pokrzywinski
    • 1
  • Edward J. Perkins
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental LaboratoryEngineer Research and Development Center, U.S. Army Corps of EngineersVicksburgUSA
  2. 2.Science Policy Consulting, LLCArlingtonUSA
  3. 3.Defense Threat Reduction AgencyFt. BelvoirUSA
  4. 4.Adelphi Laboratory Center, CCDC Army Research LaboratoryAdelphiUSA
  5. 5.U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyCincinnatiUSA

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