Can we create biology from scratch? A hallmark of living systems is their ability to maintain far-from-equilibrium conditions. Synthetic biologists seek to engineer novel and complex systems that recapitulate emergent biological behaviors such as metabolism, reproduction and evolution that appear as a result of being far away from thermodynamic equilibrium. In our group we engineer novel functionality at the cellular level in simple microorganisms and study how our engineered functionality leads to surprising effects when a population of engineered organisms is acted upon by natural selection.
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