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EDITORIAL
"synthetic
SIn'Θεtlk
Adjective
(of a substance) made by chemical synthesis, especially to imitate a natural product."

Creating entire biological systems from scratch would seem to be an entirely impossible task, one that only exists in fictional landscapes, and not in reality. But in truth, synthetic biologists have already been able to synthetize entire genomes of viruses and bacteria, with the first complete synthesis of a bacteria genome in 2010 by scientists from the J. Craig Venter Institute. More recently, in March of this year, scientists from The New York University's Langone Medical Center synthesized the first 'man-made yeast chromosome'. This development is significant as it is the first time that a cell containing a nucleus, a eukaryote, has been synthesized in a research laboratory.

Often considered an interface between biology and engineering, synthetic biology is a difficult field to pin down using a simple one-liner definition. The researchers at syntheticbiology.org define it as "a) the design and construction of new biological parts, devices, and systems, and b) the re-design of existing, natural biological systems for useful purposes." Simply put, synthetic biology not only modifies what already exists but also creates systems that do not naturally exist.

Synthetic biology allows scientists a greater understanding of the systems at work in our world today. It also allows them to create and modify biological systems that have never existed before to perform functions that may solve problems that exist in our world.

Still an emerging scientific field, it has its share of risks and challenges to overcome, both in terms of the technologies used as well as societal and ethical views of the field as a whole. Symposiums, conferences and reports have been organized in an attempt to mitigate the risks and to regulate and develop guidelines for the research of synthetic biology.

In this issue, we take a look at the synthetic biology research scenes in a few different countries; China, Singapore, Japan, (Korea) and the United Kingdom. We hope that this issue will give you some insight into this intriguing world of synthetic biology and what it can bring to the world.


Rachel Lim
Editor
Asia Pacific Biotech News

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NEWS CRUNCH  
news Nestlé Introduces their Singapore R&D Centre
news Vitafoods Asia Elevates 2017 Learning Programme
news The Seventh International Meeting on Synthetic Biology (SB 7.0)
PR NEWSWIRE  
Asia Pacific Biotech News
EDITORS' CHOICE  

Lady Ganga: Nilza'S Story
COLUMNS  
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APBN Editorial Calendar 2017
January:
Healthcare Focus: LUNGS
February:
War on CANCER
March:
Get to Know TCM
April:
Diabetes: The Big Picture
May:
The Piece of Your Mind - Brain Health/Science
June:
Advocacies in Support of Rare Disease Patients
July:
Food Science & Technology
August:
Eye – the Window to your Soul
September:
Emerging Infectious Diseases
October:
No. 1 Killer — Heart Diseases
November:
Diseases threatening our Children
December:
Skin Diseases/Allergic Reactions
Editorial calendar is subjected to changes.
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