Synthetic Biology is a new area of biotechnology that can help us to ‘design, test and build new biological parts, devices and systems’. A common example can be common plants like coriander that produce important drugs like an anti-malarials, bacteria that can produce biofuels (that can be used instead of diesel and petrol), industrially important chemicals (like enzymes for food products) and materials (like silk products for fabrics and textiles).
For a more visual explanation, check out this popular synbio introduction:
Many governments and Fortune 500 companies are shifting strategies with substantial investments in the emerging field. The global economic activity is already estimated to be at USD 1.6 billion and is estimated to grow at a compound rate of 46 percent to about USD 11 billion by 2017, with direct impact on sectors including, and not restricted to, medicine, agriculture, livestock, forests, fisheries, energy and the chemical industries.
Pakistan can hardly afford to leave out this new wave of technology in its strategy for the coming decade. This is not only crucial for upgrading all sectors that are directly connected to life sciences, but also a great chance to leap frog technological revolutions that we have missed out on and an opportunity to ‘ride’ this new ‘wave’ of technology for the benefit of our national and regional economies. By executing this project, KP will be the first province to introduce and promote synthetic biology.