- Gabriel Wu 18:15, 4 March 2013 (EST): Biocontainment is an important issue in the larger topic of biosafety (and to some extent bioethics). A common topic of conversation in the synthetic biology community is that of the Asilomar Conference on recombinant DNA in 1975. Its goal was to discuss, as a community, the emerging technologies involving recombinant DNA and to try and proactively discuss the inherent dangers as well as the potential benefits of this "new" and developing science. The analogy of recombinant DNA is often compared to synthetic biology and there have been calls for a synthetic biology focused, Asilomar-style conference [The arhttp://www.sciencemag.org/content/303/5655/159.full]. The reasoning behind these things are that if the synthetic biology community grows oblivious to the concerns of the public, the public, which funds much of science through the NIH and the NSF may develop an irrational skepticism to synthetic biology and the resulting political pressure could damage the ability of synthetic biology to move forward. I think a discussion of these topics is relevant and important.
- Kevin Baldridge 18:17, 6 March 2013 (EST):The diagram including engineered auxotrophy is kind of confusing. There are two strategies shown under "engineered auxotrophy" and it isn't really clear what the strategies are. Sorry if I missed something key in class, but it would be useful to include a caption or maybe add a key to the figure, i.e. like the first example I assume is a repressor activated by a marker molecule, and the repressor prevents production of a toxin? The explanation paragraph below is great but doesn't really help too much with the figure itself