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IAP - the global network of science academies - issued a statement on ‘Realising Global Potential in Synthetic Biology: Scientific Opportunities and Good Governance’. In the statement, IAP highlights the different areas in which researchers are currently working with synthetic biology – for example, producing less expensive pharmaceuticals and other high-value chemicals, and next-generation biofuels. In the near future, synthetic biology will likely also find applications in biomedicine, agriculture, land and water decontamination, biosensing, new materials, nano-machines, and even in novel approaches to information processing.
“This IAP Statement builds on the work of IAP member academies and regional networks such as the US National Academy of Science (US NAS) and the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC),” says IAP co-chair Volker ter Meulen. “Academies have explored key biosafety and other issues relating to the contribution that synthetic biology can make in tackling societal objectives such as in the areas of human health or food and energy security. We have also identified the technical challenges that must be overcome to develop the field, as well as what might prevent us from realizing the potential of synthetic biology.”