I’m listening to the latest SALT lecture. This one is on synthetic biology (MP3).

It’s interesting that this is the same subject that I went to a Science Museum Dana Centre evening discussion about.

One of the many parts of this broad topic is the idea of building up genetic "libraries" (akin to software libraries). A story is told of a couple of 19 year old undergrads who decided that the cells they were working changing colour at the right conditions was boring so they downloaded the genetic sequence for the smell of banana’s and spliced it into the sequence they were working on. Less than 2 months of work 2 undergrads could demo their changes.

Odds on the young kids of today will be building these things in their garages in the years to come.