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The Hidden Charm of Life

Institute for Integrative Systems Biology I2SysBio, Universitat de València-CSIC, 46980 Paterna, Spain
Darwin Bioprospecting Excellence, SL., Parc Científic Universitat de València, 46980 Paterna, Spain
Received: 26 November 2018 / Revised: 28 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 7 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthetic Biology: From Living Computers to Terraformation)
PDF [601 KB, uploaded 7 January 2019]


Synthetic biology is an engineering view on biotechnology, which has revolutionized genetic engineering. The field has seen a constant development of metaphors that tend to highlight the similarities of cells with machines. I argue here that living organisms, particularly bacterial cells, are not machine-like, engineerable entities, but, instead, factory-like complex systems shaped by evolution. A change of the comparative paradigm in synthetic biology from machines to factories, from hardware to software, and from informatics to economy is discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: biotechnology; synthetic biology; engineering; living system biotechnology; synthetic biology; engineering; living system
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Porcar, M. The Hidden Charm of Life. Life 2019, 9, 5.

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