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Draft 31

Submitted by dfmiller on Fri, 11/08/2019 - 17:09

The cell is the foundation of all life. This fundamental unit has given rise to a vast array of organisms, some unicellular and some multicellular. But what if we changed this view, instead considering these life-carrying elements as small machines? Jason Kelly, CEO of Ginko Bioworks, seeks to make this kind of thinking into a reality. Kelly views cells much akin to that of a computer, with a coding language made out of adenine, cytosine, guanine, and tyrosine. As Kelly puts it, "synthetic biology is programming cells like we program computers, by changing the DNA code inside them"1. Ginko has already implemented this methodology in a variety of fields, such as fragrances and flavorings. Kelly states that the next target of this technology is the fertilizer industry, replacing nitrogen-based fertilizers that create runoff and greenhouse gas emissions with simple seed treatments. Through synthetic biology, Kelly hopes that his company will innovate and provide novel solutions to the most environmentally unfriendly and expensive problems we face in society.

(1) Weber, J. (2019, November 6). Ginkgo Bioworks CEO Wants Biology to Manufacture Physical Goods. Retrieved November 8, 2019, from