Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2008/11/17/Drew_Endy_and_Jim_Thomas_Debate_Synthetic_Biology Stanford biologist Drew Endy discusses exponential growth in the field of bioengineering. Endy explains how scientists are now able to synthesize strands of DNA in a process similar to how computer engineers write computer code. ----- Biologist Drew Endy debates researcher and historian Jim Thomas on the future of bioengineering. While Endy discusses the potential benefits of being able to "program" DNA, Thomas advocates caution, citing the dangers of untested technology. Drew Endy is a synthetic biologist. He was a junior fellow for 3 years and later an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT. As of September 2008, he continued his research and teaching as an assistant professor in the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University. With Thomas Knight, Gerald Jay Sussman, and other researchers at MIT, he is working on synthetic biology and the engineering of standardized biological components, devices, and parts, collectively known as BioBricks. Endy is one of several founders of the Registry of Standard Biological Parts, and invented an abstraction hierarchy for integrated genetic systems. Endy is also known for his opposition to limited ownership and support of free access to genetic information. He has been one of the early promoters of open source biology, and helped start the Biobricks Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that will work to support open-source biology. He is also a co-founder of Codon Devices, a biotechnology startup company that is aiming to commercialize DNA synthesis.
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