Synthetic Biology: the next gen of GM

Presented by Dr Jim Haseloff from The University of Cambridge
Wednesday 10 August 2011
5:45pm – 6:45pm

Imagine if we could make cells that would help us tackle today’s challenges – cells that could clean up oil spills, produce fuel, break down waste and even improve our health. Once only possible in the realm of sci-fi and scientists’ dreams, the ability to engineer new life forms is tantalisingly close to being a reality.

Dr Jim Haseloff, from the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge, will take us to the cutting edge of this emerging field and explain how Synthetic Biology goes beyond traditional genetic modification of inserting a single gene into an organism, to using formal engineering principles for construction of genetically programmed biological systems.

Dr Haseloff will reveal how research on plant genetics is paving the way for the ability to engineer plants with specialised features for producing food, fuels, biomass, polymers and drugs. Outlining the scope of the new field, Dr Haseloff will lead us through the international research on Synthetic Biology in microbial and plant systems.

Taking us on a journey into hyper-coloured plants cells through his award-winning images, Dr Haseloff will explore the exciting future of the science that is changing life as we know it.

Date and Time

Wednesday 10 August 2011
5:45pm – 6:45pm

The lecture will be followed by a variety of related interactive demonstrations and experiments as well as a cocktail reception.


Eastern Ave Auditorium, Eastern Ave Complex