Making Silk from Milk: a Documentary about Synthetic Biology

by Socrates on February 28, 2011

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Synthetic Biology is one of arguably the most promising fields of (science fiction turned) science with a whole myriad of potential applications.

It was only several months ago when Craig Venter unveiled his breakthrough creation of synthetic life but even before this controversial milestone the issues surrounding it have inspired as much fear as promise.

Most experts in the field believe that fear arises from ignorance and better education about the benefits of synthetic biology and the science behind it will likely alleviate greatly that fear. It is for this reason that Andrew Hessel’s main message for Singularity 1 on 1 was Don’t Fear Synthetic Biology. Furthermore, in his Introduction to Synthetic Biology Andrew has presented perhaps one of the most lucid and easy to understand lectures on the topic.

In essence, synthetic biology is designing and programing living entities, from single-cell-bacteria up to large-scale organisms, just like we program and design computer software, with the intention to accomplish specific result.

Below you will see a video of what looks like a very interesting documentary project by Field Test Film Corps about Synthetic Biology. After watching it I decided to post it on Singularity Weblog both because it is rather interesting but also to show my support for the film-makers.

The video starts with a short presentation about the basics of Synthetic Biology. It proceeds with the idea behind the documentary film project and the way the fund-raising process works on Finally, it ends on a high note by previewing a short clip of the upcoming movie titled Making Silk from Milk, which shows how goats have been designed to produce spider silk.

Hope you enjoy it and go and support the project.

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