Synthetic genomics: Potential and limitations

Michael G. Montague, Carole Lartigue, Sanjay Vashee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Technologies to synthetically assemble chromosome sized fragments of DNA as well as to enable making thousands of simultaneous changes to existing genomes are now available. These capacities are collectively termed synthetic genomics. The implications of synthetic genomics extend beyond the limited pathway and gene engineering of the past to include the engineering or whole metabolisms, regulatory networks, and even ecosystems. However, in order for those potentials to be met, certain limitations and barriers must be overcome. These barriers no longer include DNA modification and assembly, but instead are based in the limited organisms that many synthetic genomics methods function in, and the limited software for designing custom genomic sequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)659-665
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Biotechnology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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