A team of scientists published a policy forum article on the technological
challenges of milestones when writing about genomes. The article focuses on
identifying what technological advances are needed to secure the
continuously changing field of synthetic biology. The authors also
highlighted the need to keep its implementation safe and responsible.
The 21 scientists from different disciplines and institutions got together
to write down a joint call for an established outlined timeline for the
development of the transformative advances of synthetic biology. At the
moment, synthetic biology uses computational techniques that can identify
genes that produces beneficial traits. In agriculture, synthetic biology is
used to produce improved plant varieties and animal breeds. By understanding
the full potential of engineering biology, the authors noted that scientists
will be able to better write and test whole genomes and therefore fully
explore the field of synthetic genomics.
The authors pointed out that significant improvements are needed to cut
costs and increase the speed and reliability of existing genetic tools. They
have identified upcoming technologies and improvements to current methods
that will be needed in the four major areas in synthetic biology if
synthetic genomics is to expand further in the next ten years. Discussed in
the paper are the areas of genome design, DNA synthesis, genome editing, and
chromosome construction. In summary, the paper emphasizes that an
inter-disciplined, multinational effort from concerned key sectors will lead
to further exploration of synthetic genomics for it to make a positive
impact in biomedical, pharmaceutical, agricultural and chemical field.
The article is part of a broader effort initiated by the Genome
Project-write (GP-write), which provides an avenue to encourage inclusive
conversation among experts of different fields and the public to ensure safe
and responsible implementation of the new technologies. In terms of
agriculture, the authors stated that being able to write about whole plant
genomes can lead to more efficient and productive crop production methods to
ensure global food security.