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Synthetic Biology on the Rise
Date:5/27/2009

New online map identifies synthetic biology development hot-spots across the United States and Europe

WASHINGTON, May 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Over 170 businesses, research groups and other organizations are involved in the emerging field of synthetic biology throughout the United States, according to a new interactive map launched today by the Synthetic Biology Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center. This resource, powered by Google Maps(R) and available online at www.synbioproject.org/map, shows clusters of activity are appearing in states like California, Massachusetts, New York and Texas.

"We saw similar growth patterns with nanotechnology a few years ago," said David Rejeski, who directs the Synthetic Biology Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center. "Like nanotechnology, synthetic biology is an enabling technology and will likely spawn a new generation of products and industries built on our ability to manipulate matter at a molecular level."

Though a recent poll by Hart Research showed that 9 in 10 Americans have heard little or nothing about synthetic biology, experts predict the emerging technology could become a powerful economic driver. The Utah-based life sciences firm, Beachhead Consulting, estimates that the synthetic biology research market (presently worth around $600 million) has the potential to grow to $3.5 billion over the next decade, while current estimates by the independent research and advisory firm Lux Research indicate that one-fifth of the chemical industry (now estimated at $1.8 trillion) could be dependent on synthetic biology by 2015.

Through engineering organisms at the molecular level, synthetic biology could revolutionize the production of new drugs, biofuels and other substances. "This is a tremendously exciting area of science and technology," said Andrew Maynard, the Pro
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SOURCE The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies
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