User talk:NKuldell/Q/A working page 3

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Add your comments and thoughts here or by email to nkuldell AT mit DOT edu and lmccray AT mit DOT edu

Part 1: Defining the field and its capabilities

  • Q1: How is synthetic biology different from existing, related fields like genetic engineering and metabolic engineering?
  • Q2: Is there an expert review of the nature and potential benefits and risks of synthetic biology?
  • Q3: What questions or applications are being addressed by synthetic biology that aren't being explored or built using other technologies?
  • Q4: Why is biology so hard to engineer now?
  • Q5: Some people may foresee a day when synthetic biology can build complex organisms from basic biological materials. Can simple viruses and primitive life forms already now be synthesized?
  • Q6: How quickly is the field moving towards its goals?

Part 2: Defining the community

  • Q1: What is the nature of the synthetic biology community?
  • Q2: Who speaks for the field?

Part 3: Possible future benefits of synthetic biology

  • Q1: What are the perceived benefits of synthetic biology?
  • Q2: Who is investing in this and what do they see as the pay-off?
  • Q3: How can synthetic biology contribute to human health?
  • Q4: What other classes of benefits are foreseen?

Part 4: Possible future risks and safeguards for synthetic biology

  • Q1: Does synthetic biology bring with it new risks not associated with existing, related fields?
  • Q2: What federal program[s] has responsibility for synthetic biology safety assurance?
  • Q3: What are the existing barriers to the risk of potentially harmful synthetic biology products?
  • Q4: Is there evidence of interest in synthetic biology capabilities in the part of terrorists?
  • Q5: Is biohacking possible?

Part 5: Social implications and public attitudes

  • Q1: Is synthetic biology distinct from genetic engineering in the minds of the public, administrators, and other relevant groups?
  • Q2: What groups are closely following synthetic biology and its implications?
  • Q3: Is the synthetic biology community developing and operating awareness efforts?