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Highly Accessed Opinion

Fast, cheap and somewhat in control

Adam P Arkin123* and Daniel A Fletcher24

Author Affiliations

1 Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA

2 Physical Biosciences Division, E.O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA

3 Virtual Institute of Microbial Stress and Survival, Berkeley, CA 94710, USA

4 Department of Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA

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Genome Biology 2006, 7:114  doi:10.1186/gb-2006-7-8-114

Published: 30 August 2006

Abstract

Efforts to manipulate living organisms have raised the question of whether engineering principles of hierarchy, abstraction and design can be applied to biological systems. Here, we consider the practical challenges to controlling living organisms that must be surmounted, or at least managed, if synthetic biology and cellular bioengineering are to be productive.