The royal society held a Discussion Meeting on synthetic biology 2-3 July 2008. Broadly understood as the deliberate design of novel biological systems and organisms, synthetic biology is an emerging field of increasing scientific and public policy interest.
The Meeting showcased some of the most exciting research in the field. Participants discussed technical advances; applications including novel ways to produce bioenergy, materials and drugs; and the social contexts of this research.
This report summarises key issues raised during the course of the Meeting. It is, in the main, a summary of the technical work presented. Wider issues that arose in discussions and the plenary are also described.