Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 201, Issue 6, pp 855–862 | Cite as

Terraforming: synthetic biology’s final frontier

  • Roy D. SleatorEmail author
  • Niall Smith


Synthetic biology, the design and synthesis of synthetic biological systems from DNA to whole cells, has provided us with the ultimate tools for space exploration and colonisation. Herein, we explore some of the most significant advances and future prospects in the field of synthetic biology, in the context of astrobiology and terraforming.


Synthetic biology Terraforming Bioforming Mars Exoplanet Proxima b TRAPPIST-1 CRISPR De-extinction Light sails Voyager Ecopoiesis 



The authors dedicate this paper to the memory of Sister Mary Vermolen.

Author contributions

RDS and NS conceived the idea and wrote the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesCork Institute of TechnologyCorkIreland
  2. 2.Blackrock Castle ObservatoryCork Institute of TechnologyCorkIreland

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