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Steven Benner: Creating Synthetic Life

Steve Benner uses chemistry to develop artificial “living” systems.

artificial DNA base pairs

Benner’s artificial DNA base pairs provide an “expanded genetic alphabet” for synthetic biology

Steven Benner, Ph.D., is a leader in the field of synthetic biology, an area in which scientists use chemistry to reproduce the complex behavior of living organisms. By developing artificial “living” systems that are self-sustaining and capable of evolving, synthetic biologists hope to harness the amazing abilities of living things for advances in medicine, energy and other applications.

At the Research Frontiers in Bioinspired Energy: Molecular-level Learning from Natural Systems workshop, Benner discussed the aims and risks of synthetic biology. He also described his work on creating synthetic DNA using an artificial genetic alphabet.

Steven Benner is a Distinguished Fellow at the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution.