Thursday, April 18, 2013

Synthetic Conservation Biology

Connections between the largely orthogonal fields of conservation biology and synthetic biology are the subject of a thoughtful framing paper produced for a recent meeting between these two fields' experts.  Two prominent conservation organizations, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the The Nature Conservancy, were sponsors of, and participants in, the event.  The paper, entitled "How will synthetic biology and conservation shape the future of nature?," outlines the broad contours of how powerful new synthetic biological techniques could affect natural organisms, ecosystems in which they live, and efforts to prevent their extinction. Although not directly considered in the paper, synthetic biology could be highly relevant to efforts surrounding deextinction.