Revision as of 03:33, 29 September 2011 by Leonidas
ConsiderationsHuman practice considerations provide important opportunities to provide context from which specific goals can be defined. This area strikes across disciplinary boundaries, connecting scientists with ethicists, policymakers and other entities to explore the means by which the defined ends are to be reached. Along this vein, principles of grand strategy, the practice of “achieving large ends with limited means” has importance in these considerations. This report echoes proposals published in International Health by Leslie Curry and colleagues and advocate for greater application of grand strategy to synthetic biology in the global health arena, where our project finds its utility.
Synthetic biology is receiving rapidly growing attention as a field with fantastic potential to improve quality of life. As the scope of synthetic biology expands, so does the need for proper oversight. The influence of the synthetic biology community will rely on how well its goals align with the needs of its intended beneficiaries. In other words, the community must clearly define the ends it wishes to achieve.
Advancements in synthetic biology can one day provide important tools to improve global health initiatives geared towards achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Our project takes steps toward developing intelligent probiotics. We believe that our designs have importance informing probiotics that leverage symbiotic microbiota and interface with the biology of the host organism to perform their respective tasks. These may one day be used to not only mitigate bowel disease as we have explored, but also produce essential nutrients for easy uptake by the intestine in people living in conditions that complicate nourishment. Connecting these solutions with entities in the pharmaceutical and health care delivery fields will help bring synthetic probiotics and other products of synthetic biology into practice.
Curry, L. (2010). Achieving large ends with limited means: grand strategy in global health. International Health. 2(2): 82-6.