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Past Activities 2015-2016

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Dear colleagues,  this has been a very rich week in terms of ideas, views and proposals, then I thank you for the many scenarios raised about the topic Synthetic Biology.

I support Drs. Roca, Wistra and Strassheim's affirmative opinions about the fact that we should not reopen Synthetic Biology as a way to revisit the general LMOs case. This would not be profitable for the C.P.'s instruction about the real nature and impacts of we call by now "Synthetic Biology".

I also support comments from Dr. Kuiken and Dr. Garfinkel about the conceptual nature and applications of CRISPR technology. Again, the intention of using CRISPR and other similar techniques as synonymous of "Synthetic Biology" is (1) to not  appropriately take in consideration the very classic and well established concepts on Genetic Recombination and (2), again, a way to reopen the LMOs case, just because Science and Technology continues its normal and very impressive advance. In this sense, I recall and support the comments of Dr. Rech (EMBRAPA, Brazil)  on the fact that these techniques can easily be classified as tools for domestication of native genes.

Regarding Dr. Fedorova's  comments about being premature to discuss and imagine a near future of regulatory scenarios on what I call "Artificial Biology", I think that is not premature. Not at all. When talking about Synthetic Biology, unless we want to use it to reopen well established discussions on LMOs, we are really targeting Artificial Biology. This is the novelty, this is the real thing, this is the field where we should set our imagination and knowledge about coevolution, if we are, as clearly demonstrated by all colleagues, intending to forecast the impacts of Artificial Biology. In my modest role as an specialist on Genetic, Evolution and Quantitative Genetics, I am ver comfortable in proposing the stricto senso approach of Synthetic Biology = Artificial Biology = Xenobiology.

Last, I agree with Dr. Shirae's comments, I consider the definition proposed by Dr. Keiper a too open one, and I like the use of the term "intervention" as mentioned by Dr. Engelhard.

All the best,

Joaquim Machado
posted on 2015-05-10 16:03 UTC by Mr. Joaquim A. Machado, Brazil