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Pimp my Genome! The Mainstreaming of Digital Genetic Engineering

“DNA is a programming language for living cells. The cell’s basic operating system, or genome, directs functions like growth and reproduction, energy utilization, and the production of useful compounds like ethanol or penicillin. With genetic engineering, new functions can be added to cells or broken metabolic pathways repaired. Until recently, genetic engineering has required the DNA molecule itself to be physically manipulated, a tedious and expensive process. Now, automatic DNA synthesis permits virtually any DNA code to be made from scratch, opening up genetic engineering to anyone with a computer and a credit card. The capabilities of this new synthetic biology are growing explosively.” - GoogleTalks

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