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Speaker Abstract

Reading, writing, and evolving genomes for bioenergy research

George Church
Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School

We develop ‘basic enabling technologies’ like single cell-metagenomics, DNA sequencing, DNA synthesis, allele-replacement genome engineering, lab evolution, RNA quantitation, and computational systems modeling, which can be aimed at a variety of bioenergy research topics ranging from photosynthesis to bioproduction of fuels and specialty chemicals. What projects we undertake are greatly affected by the progress curves of these technologies (which are often, but by no means guaranteed, exponential). We also have to work hard to assure that these technologies improve the safety of genetically engineered organisms in complex ecosystems rather than the opposite.