Drew Endy taught undergraduate students how to make e. coli bacteria that smelled like wintergreen, using his biobricks. This shows us a future for biology where “useful biological tasks” can be “automated” using “components”. The quotes indicate where research and development are going—building components, figuring out how biological amateurs can assemble them, and to what end. The overlap with open source and the low-barrier-to-entry that’s reminiscent of the web are particularly interesting to us.
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