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Molecular Moonshots

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Molecular Moonshots, illustration

Credit: Steve Young

When a team of researchers at Bar-Ilan University in Israel recently announced they had successfully implanted DNA-based nanorobots inside living cockroaches—possibly paving the way for a revolution in cancer treatment—it marked the latest in a series of promising innovations to emerge from the synthetic biology community over the past decade.

In recent years, biotechnologists have started to come tantalizingly close to engineering next-generation drugs and vaccines, DNA-based computational systems, and even brand-new synthetic life forms. Amid all these advances, however, the development of synthetic biology software has largely failed to keep up with the pace of innovation in the field.


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