“Can you appreciate the beauty of a flower?“

– it  is not a question you would expect a scientist to ask. But then again, Richard Feynman was not your typical scientist.

The statement ‘what I can not create I do not understand’ was found written on Feynman’s blackboard after his death, and it has become a guiding principle in synthetic biology.

This is because disrupting natural systems and analyzing the effect underpins most research in biology, but when scientists try to use this knowledge to control development or metabolism, it often becomes apparent that there are large gaps in our understanding. By building biological systems ‘bottom up‘, it is possible to identify where these gaps are – and this is where synthetic biology comes in.

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