A novel twist on life

The big feature I’ve most enjoyed writing for the FT so far this year is in today’s paper. Please take a look.

It’s about synthetic biology, which is emerging as a really hot field of research.

The most eye-catching project in synbio is what I’ve called biology’s “Frankenstein moment”: Craig Venter’s attempt to create a microbe from scratch, using lab chemicals. (Sorry Craig, I know you won’t relish that phrase.)

More significant are the efforts to re-engineer existing organisms, for applications from biofuels to medicine.

And, to accompany the article, my FT graphics colleagues have constructed an excellent illustration to show how synthetic biology works.

The world of research

The science blog is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

Clive Cookson, the FT's science editor, picks out the research that everyone should know about, in fields from astronomy to zoology. He also discusses key policy issues, from R&D funding to science education. He'll cover the weird and wonderful, as well as the serious side of science.