BioBuilding: Synthetic Biology for Students: Essay

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Essay Topic

  • Do the potential contributions to society warrant the potential risks inherent in synthetic biology?
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Synthetic biology has emerged only recently as an engineering discipline. At this point, the field has more potential than accomplishment. Some people see an incredible potential that includes cures for diseases, biosynthetic fuels and houses that are grown from gourds. Other people question the safety of a process that involves altering genomes.

Your assignment is to investigate synthetic biology using the following resources:

Decoding Synthetic Biology (YouTube)

What is synthetic biology?( pdf)

A Life of Its Own ( pdf)

Our Synthetic Futures

Faking Organisms

Hand-made biology

The Risks and Rewards of Synthetic Biology

Then write an essay in which you address this question: Do the potential contributions to society warrant the potential risks inherent in synthetic biology?

As you write the essay be sure to:

  • Provide an overview of the field of synthetic biology.
  • Describe synthetic biology's potential benefits.
  • Describe synthetic biology's potential risks.
  • Take a stand on the issue and back up your arguments.
  • Examine the Essay Rubric ( pdf) and Essay Scoresheet ( pdf)

When you've finished your essay, upload your thoughts to the BioBuilder site that's here. You'll be able to compare what you're thinking to what other BioBuilders around the country have said.

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