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I enjoyed reading the outlook papers for synthetic bio from 2006. I couldn't help but notice there were quite a few predictions that have already come true; specifically the engineering of a more virulent strain of a pathogen as well as forbidden publication on that sensitive data [Engineered H5N1 (Discover Magazine)], appearance of possibly detrimental synthetic resistance genes in the environment doi:10.1038/492314d, and cell-based biocomputers doi:10.1038/nature11149, to name a few. I am just becoming familiar with synthetic biology, and I find it pretty impressive how quickly the field is moving. *Kevin Baldridge 16:25, 27 January 2013 (EST)

  • Jeffrey E. Barrick 11:49, 28 January 2013 (EST):I wonder to what extent the plasmids found in the river are in living microbes or as free DNA. Conventional wisdom is that most lab organisms can't survive out there in the environment, but it's possible other microbes take up the DNA.