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Aiming to build a better bacteria

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Researchers at Harvard work to edit the genome, with eye toward industrial uses

It’s a branch of biology often defined as the quest to build life from scratch. Synthetic biology, the effort to engineer novel bacteria for useful purposes, holds the promise of lab-built organisms that could secrete biofuels or clean up oil spills, but also the peril of designer pathogens and unintended consequences.

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