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Sequencing and Synthesis
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Sequencing and Synthesis

Doug Lauffenburger chairs one of the most fascinating departments at MIT, the biological engineering department. His group is at the leading edge of a wide range of creative projects that are likely to transform our world in the future. As a Christian, he understands clearly some of the challenges that we face as these technical possibilities are pursued. He will present some of these issues in a talk on “Sequencing and Synthesis: Where are Biology, Bioengineering, and Biotechnology Taking Us?"

When: 2/22/2013
7:30PM to 9:30PM
Where: MIT Thirsty Ear Pub
235 Albany St
Cambridge, Massachusetts 
United States
Contact: Randy Isaac

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"Sequencing and Synthesis: Where are Biology, Bioengineering, and Biotechnology Taking Us?"

Since the completion of the Human Genome Project, the cost for whole genome sequencing for an individual has dropped dramatically: from one hundred million dollars in 2001 to ten thousand dollars in 2011. In the coming few years, the cost is projected to drop substantially further, placing the opportunity for individual genome sequencing into wide reach.  Analogously, synthesis of DNA for introduction into cells is rapidly becoming more cost-effective so that designed programming of biological systems may be significantly enabled.

Gene-based therapies and biology-driven technologies will soon become a familiar part of our daily lives. What potential does biological engineering have to ease human suffering, repair and sustain our environment, and advance our understanding of the natural world?  And what potential concerns need to be considered in this context?

Doug Lauffenburger, head of the biological engineering department at MIT, will be discussing the history, status, and ethical conundrums of this exciting field—come with questions!

Have friends or colleagues who might be interested in joining us? Please help us by downloading our event poster!

Note: Admission for ages 21 and over only; photo ID required.