Making-of Synthetic Biology: The European CyanoFactory Research Consortium

Part of the Ethics of Science and Technology Assessment book series (ETHICSSCI, volume 45)


CyanoFactory is the name of a research consortium that aims at the development of methods for the optimization of the microorganism Synechocystis PCC 6803 for photobiological hydrogen production. The methods applied belong to the field of synthetic biology. The consortium consists of ten partners from seven European countries and is funded by the European Commission as part of the Future and Emerging Technologies Programme. In this chapter I describe how synthetic biology emerged from systems biology and how its foundations were laid in the 1930s. I then present my personal account of how the CyanoFactory consortium came together, what its research goals are, and why the methodology that we apply is categorized as synthetic biology, in contrast to classical gene technology. The central themes of this chapter are the biological, technical and management challenges of CyanoFactory and how the synthetic biology research approach taken by the consortium helps to overcome them. I wish to show that synthetic biology research should be seen as an interdisciplinary quest in the sense envisioned by Warren Weaver, director of the Division of Natural Sciences at the Rockefeller Foundation, when establishing the Science of Man Agenda in the 1930s.


Synthetic Biology Research Consortium Synthetic Biologist Video Call Fresh Weight Biomass 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The research described in this chapter has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement number 308518 (CyanoFactory). The author wishes to thank Kristin Hagen for her helpful comment.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Applied Sciences MittweidaMittweidaGermany

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