Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 198, Issue 7, pp 711–713 | Cite as

Synthetic biology: from mainstream to counterculture

  • Roy D. SleatorEmail author
Short Communication


Existing at the interface of science and engineering, synthetic biology represents a new and emerging field of mainstream biology. However, there also exists a counterculture of Do-It-Yourself biologists, citizen scientists, who have made significant inroads, particularly in the design and development of new tools and techniques. Herein, I review the development and convergence of synthetic biology’s mainstream and countercultures.


Synthetic biology DIY biology Biosecurity Biocontainment 



RDS is Coordinator of the EU FP7 Grant ClouDx-i.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There are no conflicts of interest that the author is aware of.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesCork Institute of TechnologyBishopstown, CorkIreland

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