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Synthetic Biology: A Convergence of Fact and Fiction by Mind Map: Synthetic Biology: A
Convergence of Fact and
Fiction
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Synthetic Biology: A Convergence of Fact and Fiction

Technical definitions

"Synthetic biology is the design and construction of biological devices and systems for useful purposes." - Wikipedia

"engineering biology for fun and profit" - me

intersection of multiple fields

Lab techniques

extract DNA from living things

find DNA in a database

design your genome

order DNA over the internet

DNA transformation

Portrayals

GM

vital escence

magical transformation

evil scientist vs victim/specimin

upgrades

reversible

happens "to" something/someone

Synbio

designed

purposeful

gooey

organic

technician, researcher, engineer

it *is* something/someone

Practical realities

gm

'hit and hope'

tinkering

small-scale

expert knowledge

relatively mature

validated

reached its natural limitations/limit

many products, insulin, vitamin c, glowing fish

synbio

design process

planned

computer-aided design

databases

DNA compiler

artificial intelligence

new/emerging

hardly even started yet

few products, biofuels, drug production, industrial enzymes, bio-concrete

Me

Work

genetics

computers

bioinformatics

synthetic biology (synbio)

Play

husband/father

real ale

growing vegetables

stone carving

all things sci-fi

Media

Gremlin spider

gremlin injected with DNA in the lab

takes on hybrid properties of a gremlin and a spider

morphs in real time, no reproductive cycle

DNA Mad Scientist - Farscape

scientist accidentally enhances lab rat who then starts upgrading himself and enslaves the scientist

injects self with genetic 'upgrades'

effects reversed later on in the story

BioShock

Mephiesto's various creations - South Park

Day of the Triffids - Wyndham

"My own belief, for what that is worth, is that they were the outcome of a series of ingenious biological meddlings—and very likely accidental, at that. Had they been evolved anywhere but in the region they were, we should doubtless have had a well‑documented ancestry for them." Bill Masen

Oryx and Crake - Atwood

Synbio in our oceans

The Kraken Wakes - Wyndham

The Swarm - Schatzing

Embassytown - China Mieville

eXistenZ

Babylon 5

Vorlons, ships (remodelling), telepaths (tinkering)

Shadows, shadow ships (hybrid remodelling + human CPU), technomages (tinkering?)

Others, Ikarran war machine - organic 'weapon' that subsumes a host

Prometheus (Alien)

The Engineers designed/adapted Aliens

Rule 34 - Stross

spider silk beer

Fact vs Fiction

GM

pre-scientific, vitalist

fantastical, like a magic potion

not related to the reality of GM

Synbio

in the spirit of synbio

tends to be closer to the reality of synbio

converging as the science improves