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Synthetic Biology: Beating the Cell at its Own Game, Jun 18

Your body routinely produces 200 billion red blood cells every day, yet you could spend years at a lab bench attempting to artificially synthesize all of the raw materials that those cells are made of. Your cells manage to do that – and to assemble new cells out of those raw materials – with relative ease. Synthetic biology aims to design and construct biological systems to make valuable products or perform constructive tasks. The tremendous diversity in the natural world provides us with a versatile and complex set of biological tools. We’ll discuss how synthetic biologists apply and hone these tools, and to what ends.

Terry has a master’s degree in chemical engineering from MIT and is currently teaching bioengineering at UC Berkeley. He hopes that by doing so, he will be giving students the tools that they will need to repair him when he gets older. With Kyle Kurpinski, he is the author of “How to Defeat Your Own Clone: And Other Tips for Surviving the Biotech Revolution”. In 2010, he was the recipient of the ASUC Golden Apple Award for Outstanding Teaching.

This free public talk is presented as part of the monthly “Science@Cal Lecture Series”.