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Synthetic biology is one of the 21st century's fastest growing fields of research, as important for technology as for basic science. Building on traditional genetic engineering, which was restricted to changing one or two genes, synthetic biology uses multi-gene modules and pathways to make very significant changes to what cells can do. Synthetic biologists aim to have an impact in fields as diverse as drug manufacture, biofuel production, tackling pollution, and medical diagnostics. Further ahead, synthetic biology may even make possible the long-standing goal of creating new life from non-living starting materials. This Very Short Introduction provides a concise explanation of what synthetic biology is, and how it is beginning to affect many fields of technology. Jamie Davies also discusses the considerable controversies surrounding synthetic biology, from questions over the assumption that engineering concepts can be applied to living systems easily, to scepticism over the claims for commercial promise, fears that the dangers of engineering life are worse than its benefits, and concerns over whether humans should be designing living systems at all. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
This book contributes to better understand how lifestyle modulations can effectively halt the emergence and progression of human diseases. The book will allow the reader to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms by which the environment interferes with the bio-molecular regulatory processes underlying the emergence and progression of complex diseases, such as cancer. Focusing on key and early cellular bio-molecular events giving rise to the emergence of degenerative chronic disease, it builds on previous experience on the development of multi-cellular organisms, to propose a mathematical and computer based framework that allows the reader to analyze the complex interplay between bio-molecular processes and the (micro)-environment from an integrative, mechanistic, quantitative and dynamical perspective. Taking the wealth of empirical evidence that exists it will show how to build and analyze models of core regulatory networks involved in the emergence and progression of chronic degenerative diseases, using a bottom-up approach.

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