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This is the only book to focus on industrial and environmental applications of synthetic biology, covering 17 of the most promising uses in the areas of biofuel, bioremediation and biomaterials. The contributions are written by experts from academia, non-profit organizations and industry, outlining not only the scientific basics but also the economic, environmental and ethical impact of the new technologies. This makes it not only suitable as supplementary material for students but also the perfect companion for policy makers and funding agencies, if they are to make informed decisions about synthetic biology. Largely coordinated by Markus Schmidt, a policy adviser, and the only European to testify in front of the bioethics commission of the Obama administration.
Markus Schmidt has an interdisciplinary background with an education in electronic and biomedical engineering, biology (MSc) and risk research (PhD). His research interests include risk assessment, the science-society interface, and technology assessment (TA) of novel bio-, nano- and converging technologies. Since 2005 he pioneered synthetic biology safety and ELSI research in Europe. See: www.markusschmidt.eu for details.
Lei Pei completed her PhD at the Division of Clinical Bacteriology, Karolinska Institute, Sweden, in 2002. After her PhD she worked at the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Between 2005 and 2009 she completed her second postdoc position at the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology, Department of Molecular Biology, Gent University, Belgium. Since 2009 she works with Markus Schmidt as a postdoc on synthetic biology and risk assessment.
Antoine Danchin is a French geneticist known for his research in several fields of biology. Originally he was trained as a mathematician at the Institut Henri Poincare and a physicist at the Ecole Polytechnique. He is the Chairman of the startup AMAbiotics, specialised in metabolic bioremediation and synthetic biology. He was the director of the Department Genomes and Genetics at the Institut Pasteur in Paris where he headed the Genetics of Bacterial Genomes Unit.
Ismail Mahmutoglu is a Chemist as Bauer Umwelt GmbH, a specialist on the remediation of brownfields, and the treatment of waters and gases. He is a spezialist for design and manufactureing of water treatment plants for decontamination, for waste water and for potable water. The range of projects he is dealing with includes complex technical treatment steps with biological treatment steps, but also in situ technologies to improve the underground conditions for the microorganism.
Michel Morange is Professor in molecular biology at the CNRS-ENS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Centre Cavailles, Ecole normale superieure, and a specialist in the history of molecular biology. Michel previously studied the history of the molecular revolution, and the post-genomic transformations of biology. Synthetic biology is in the direct continuity of these early works.
Vincent Schachter is Vice-President for Research & Development at Total Gas & Power. Before that he was the director of Systems Biology of the french CEA, where he lead the Computational Systems Biology research group. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, and entered bioinformatics through the field of protein interaction network analysis. He has also acquired applied experience with high-throughput experimental data – protein-protein interactions, sequence, cellular phenotypes – first as Director of Bioinformatics Research at Hybrigenics SA, a biotech company, and then as Director of Bioinformatics at CEA. He is a co-founder of the BioPathways, Consortium and a participant in the BioPAX standardization effort, and is a referee for several bioinformatics and biology journals.
Mark A. Bedau is an internationally recognized leader in the interdisciplinary study of complex adaptive systems. He co-founded and is currently COO of ProtoLife Srl in Venice, Italy. He also cofounded the European Centre for Living Technology (UNIVE), in Venice, Italy. Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at Reed College, and visiting Professor at the European School of Molecular Medicine (Milan, Italy). He is internationally recognized as a uniquely qualified expert in the philosophical foundations of complex adaptive systems.
Rachel Armstrong is a medical doctor with qualifications in general practice, a multi-media producer, and arts collaborator whose current research explores the possibilities of architectural design to create positive practices and mythologies about new technology. She is collaborating with international scientists and architects to explore cutting-edge, sustainable technologies by developing metabolic materials in an experimental setting.