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For the last 30 years in the biotechnology industry, recombinant DNA has been used to read, write, and edit the genomes of cells for the production of all kinds of things, including drugs, materials, flavors, fragrances, and various chemicals. SynBioBeta is an innovation network for the synthetic biology industry which is trying to make biology easier to engineer. “Everything we use in modern biotechnology is the product of genetic engineering and we want to make it easier to engineer, meaning we want to turn it into a robust, reliable, predictable engineering discipline…like computer engineering or software engineering…” says John Cumbers, founder of SynBioBeta.

He goes on to discuss a few products that have already been created using biological engineering and synthesis techniques. For example, ice cream based on the synthetic production of whey protein rather than extracting the whey protein from cow milk, and a jacket made from an enhanced version of spider silk, providing maximum strength, durability, and stretch.

Cumbers explains the science behind all of this and more, so tune in, check out their weekly newsletter at, and get in contact via Twitter.

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