Human Applications of Synthetic Biology (Resource List)

A listing of articles on human applications of synthetic biology (updated 5-24-13).



Gods and Monsters
Mark Dowie, Mother Jones, January/February 2004 [Talking apes, flying pigs, superhumans with armadillo attributes, and other strange considerations of Dr. Stuart Newman’s fight to patent a human/animal chimera]

Big Promises Backed by Bad Theory
Eric Hoffman and Stuart Newman, GEN, May 15, 2012 [Overview, not very focused on human applications but including them]


Picks from the Center for Genetics and Society blog Biopolitical Times

Synthetic Eugenics and Scientific Silence
Daniel Sharp, Biopolitical Times, June 21st, 2012 [Best collection of quotes about human enhancement]

Writing Your Baby’s Synthetic Genome: Genetic Engineering for the Facebook Generation
Daniel Sharp, Biopolitical Times, March 22nd, 2012

Cloning, De-extinction, and Possibly Human Applications
Pete Shanks, Biopolitical Times, March 29th, 2013

George Church on Neanderthal Clones and Designer Babies
Pete Shanks, Biopolitical Times, January 23rd, 2013

Synthetic Biology, Drew Endy, and the Building of a Better Human from the Ground Up
Jesse Reynolds, Biopolitical Times, October 1st, 2009 [Quotes the most relevant parts of this New Yorker article, which initially focuses on Keasling & artemisinin; the Endy quotes begin on p. 4, here]

Synthetic Biology as Public Relations
Pete Shanks, Biopolitical Times, April 17th, 2013

Craig Venter’s New Save-the-World Project: A 3-D Printer for Vaccines
Jessica Cussins, Biopolitical Times, October 25th, 2012

Artificial DNA Presents Real Dangers
Daniel Sharp, Biopolitical Times, May 2nd, 2012 [Focus on proposed biomedical applications and risks]

Synthetic Collaborations and Experimental Human Science
Daniel Sharp, Biopolitical Times, July 13th, 2012 [A review of Designing Human Practices: An Experiment with Synthetic Biology, by Paul Rabinow and Gaymon Bennett]


Other publications

On “De-extinction” and the connection to human applications:

A Stealthy De-Extinction Startup: By reviving lost species, a new company could put a warm and fuzzy face on advanced reproductive engineering.
Antonio Regalado, MIT Technology Review, March 19, 2013

Should We Be Trying to Bring Extinct Species Back to Life?
Pete Shanks, Alternet, April 8, 2013

On animals, with possible human applications:

Scientists plan human genes for cows, goats
Eloise Gibson, New Zealand Herald, February 27th, 2010

Synthetic Biology and the Rise of the ‘Spider-Goats’
Adam Rutherford, The Guardian, January 14, 2002 [Clearly technically relevant to humans]

And finally, a pro–synthetic biology booster:

How Science Can Build a Better You
David Ewing Duncan, New York Times, November 3, 2012

Submitted by Pete Shanks