Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Chinese Version)


synthetic biology, enablement, convergence, innovative ecosystem

Document Type

High Ground of Science and Innovation


Synthetic biology revolutionizes the comprehension of life systems from an engineering perspective, employing a “bottomup” approach in life science research. It adopts an iterative research paradigm of “design-build-test-learn” in life science research and creates engineered new life systems grounded in genomics and systems biology. This provides a new pathway of “from creation to understanding” for life sciences, departing from the traditional reductionist research strategy of “study the whole to understand the parts” and opening up a new culture of “building to understand” the essence of life. Additionally, synthetic biology elevates existing biotechnologies previously based on “simulating natural processes” and “genetic engineering modifications” to a level of “quantitative rational design” and “standardized construction testing”, pushing bioengineering and metabolic engineering towards efficient, universal engineering “reprogramming” and even “de novo construction”, thereby achieving the goal of “building to use”. This study reviews the significant progress of synthetic biology in the aspect of “building to understand” in basic life science research in recent years, providing specific cases of its “building to use” in fields such as chemical engineering, medicine, food, and the environment, showcasing the profound impact synthetic biology is exerting on the comprehensive development of human society. Moreover, it underscores the importance of constructing a convergent ecosystem and governance framework to foster the robust and expeditious development of synthetic biology.

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Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences


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