UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Some of the potential applications of engineering biology, or synthetic biology, sound like science fiction: genetically engineered organisms that produce plastics from carbon dioxide and synthetic gut microbes that detect and wipe out invading organisms before you get sick. Pulling off such futuristic synthetic biology solutions for a wide range of societal problems is the purpose of a technical roadmap recently published by the Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC).

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