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MAKING THINGS THAT DON'T EXIST NATURALLY Featured
14 April 2020 Posted by 

MAKING THINGS THAT DON'T EXIST NATURALLY

Collaboration stretches syntheic biology
RED DWYER

MACQUARIE University is the focus of a $35M centre of excellence which fabricates products which do not exist in the natural world.
A consortium centred on the university, has received the funds from the Australian Research Council (ARC) to create an ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology, from 2020.
 
The Minister for Education, Dan Tehan, said the university, regarded as Australia’s leader in synthetic biology, was ideally placed to lead large-scale collaborative projects in this field.
 
The centre is an international collaboration between seven Australian universities and 25 partners and is one of the largest combined efforts in synthetic biology in the world.
 
“Macquarie University brought the field of synthetic genomics to Australia and is a recognised global leader in synthetic biology research,” said deputy vice chancellor, research, Professor Isak Pretorius.
 
Synthetic biology is a new interdisciplinary area that involves the application of engineering principles to biology, which aims at the re-design and fabrication of biological components and systems that do not already exist in the natural world, according to the university.
 
The centre, led by Professor Ian Paulsen, an ARC Laureate Fellow, aims to provide the technical innovation which would enable Australia to develop a vibrant bio-economy built on the country’s strong agricultural sector.
 
Another aim is to train the next generation of synthetic biologists capable of establishing the Australian bio-economy start-up companies of the future.


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