Does it now? And what exactly does it mean that synthetic biology undergirds applications? I have not seen any profitable activities or products in which synthetic biology played anything more than perhaps a minor role and that only if you stretch the definition to include simply manufacturing really long oligos in the lab and using them for various things. Certainly they have not revived any extinct species or created “new” lifeforms that have done anything worthwhile. At best they have nibbled at the edges and made incremental improvements to be generous. I am afraid synthetic bio is another one of these technology fields like AI or machine learning where media hype has gotten way out of proportion to the actual science. In the case of AI and machine learning there is virtually no real science being done but that is not the case with synth bio and it is being done a disservice by a news media (and some scientists as well to be fair) looking to sensationalize something that really is not all that sensational. The scads of money being poured into this area will mostly be wasted but hopefully one or two cool things will come out of it. Heck, at least it has a name that isn’t a logical contradiction (unlike machine learning) and it is something that actually exists (unlike AI).

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