Inventing Life: Patent Law and Synthetic Biology
With promises of improved medical treatments, greener energy and even artificial life, the field of synthetic biology has captured the public imagination and attracted significant government and commercial investment.
This excitement reached a crescendo on 21 May 2010, when scientists at the J Craig Venter Institute in the United States announced that they had made a “self-replicating synthetic bacterial cell”. This was the first living cell to have an entirely human-made genome, which means that all of the cell’s characteristics were controlled by a DNA sequence designed by scientists.
This achievement in biological engineering was made possible by combining molecular biotechnology, gene synthesis technology and information technology.
Alison McLennan and Matthew Rimmer Dr. 2012. "Inventing Life: Patent Law and Synthetic Biology" The Conversation