Human Genome Project and Synthetic Biology



Ten years after the completion of the Human Genome Project, we stand on the cusp of an era of personalized medicine and the much hyped, sometimes maligned possibility of a “synthetic biology.”

George Church, a leading figure in the human genome project, has long advocated the virtues of an “Open Source approach” (see the first open source sequencing machine). The Biobricks Foundation, and the newly created BioFab, work to create an open standard for the field of synthetic biology. Can an “Open Source” model, in which essential biotechnologies are accessible as an “innovation commons,” provide a way forward? See Freeman Dyson for a vision of an era of radically “democratized,” decentralized biology.