Synthetic Biology Makes Scary Headlines, but Universities Promote It as a Lifesaver

Alison Yin for The Chronicle

Jay D. Keasling, a professor at the U. of California at Berkeley and head of the Joint BioEnergy Institute in Emeryville, Calif., uses the gene-altering techniques of synthetic biology in efforts to develop biofuels and a plant-related drug for fighting malaria.
January 16, 2011 Premium content for subscribers. Subscribe Today

The renowned scientist J. Craig Venter got top-shelf attention last spring when his lab implanted modified DNA into growing bacteria and he pronounced it "the first synthetic species" of life.

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers convened a hearing to study...

This content is available exclusively to Chronicle subscribers