Cell-free biology: Exploiting the interface between synthetic biology and synthetic chemistry

D. Calvin Harris, Michael C. Jewett*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Just as synthetic organic chemistry once revolutionized the ability of chemists to build molecules (including those that did not exist in nature) following a basic set of design rules, cell-free synthetic biology is beginning to provide an improved toolbox and faster process for not only harnessing but also expanding the chemistry of life. At the interface between chemistry and biology, research in cell-free synthetic systems is proceeding in two different directions: using synthetic biology for synthetic chemistry and using synthetic chemistry to reprogram or mimic biology. In the coming years, the impact of advances inspired by these approaches will make possible the synthesis of nonbiological polymers having new backbone compositions, new chemical properties, new structures, and new functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)672-678
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Biotechnology
Volume23
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering

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