The latest issue of Mètode addresses the subject of standards in science, with a special focus on synthetic biology.
Understanding standardisation as a form of social ordering makes visible aspects of standards that are otherwise obscure. It allows us to move past the immediately accessible at the bench, on the screen, and in text and talk.
The concept of standardization is linked to the industrial revolution and mass production of goods through assembly lines. The question we will try to answer is the extent to which standards can be achieved in the biological realm.
Synthetic biology goes one step further by incorporating conceptual frameworks from computing, electronics, and industrial design. This change makes it possible to conceive the creation of complex biological objects that were previously considered too difficult to assemble.
In the field of biotechnology and synthetic biology – which aims at studying living things from the point of view of engineering – standards are desirable, but it has yet to be proved that they can be widely adopted.
Biotechnological tools such as gene editing or synthetic biology will contribute to increase agricultural production in a sustainable way.