The seminar will discuss some of our basic ideas associated with the development of synthetic biology. This will be done by considering some of the key differences between synthetic biology (or the engineering of biology) and more traditional molecular biology. This will lead onto a discussion of some of the key points of the three major strategic reports on synthetic biology published in the UK.
The next major section of the seminar relates to the development of synthetic biology at Imperial College. The ideas relating to synthetic biology will then be described in terms of the Imperial College strategy for the area. The basic approach is one of developing platform technology, leading to application areas. This will be described and put into the context of the design cycle and the basic principles of modularisation, characterisation and standardisation.
The development of SynbiCITE will be discussed in the context of the three major foci: the Science, Engineering Design and Applications Hub; the Facilities Hub; and the Business and Outreach Hub. The second half of the seminar will relate to a specific area of research; namely, information systems, standardisation and characterisation. Standardisation will be considered primarily in terms of the development of a new characterisation standard, DICOM-SB. The process of characterisation will be described in terms of a case study comprising constitutive promoters. This section will also cover the development of an information system (SynBIS) and how this is used in relation to characterisation involving our DNA foundry. The final part of the seminar will consider next steps in relation to industrial translation.