Synthetic biology and weapons of war

A few years ago, Eric Klavins found himself starting at the ceiling of his room in the Athenaeum, a private lodging on the grounds of the California Institute of Technology, in the middle of the night. Unable to sleep, Klavins found himself pondering a question that had been posed to him earlier that day at […]

Synthetic biology: Parlor trick, or proof of concept?

The first time I heard about bacterial photography, I thought, “Wow, that’s so rad! I’m not sure what they’re gonna use it for, but anyway, it sure is cool!” The bacterial photography project involved transplanting a light sensor into an Escherichia coli bacterium so that it could take “pictures” in Petri dishes. It sprang from […]