Fast, cheap and somewhat in control
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
Genome Biology 2006, 7:114 doi:10.1186/gb-2006-7-8-114Published: 30 August 2006
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.