Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Setting the standard in synthetic biology

Standards for characterization, manufacture and sharing of information about modular biological devices may lead to a more efficient, predictable and design-driven genetic engineering science.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Examples of synthetic biological devices.

Accession codes




  1. Keasling, J.D. ACS Chem. Biol. 3, 64–76 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Canton, B., Labno, A. & Endy, D. Nat. Biotechnol. 26, 787–793 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Camilli, A. & Bassler, B.L. Science 311, 1113–1116 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Anderson, J.C., Voigt, C.A. & Arkin, A.P. Mol. Syst. Biol. 3, 133 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Batt, G., Yordanov, B., Weiss, R. & Belta, C. Bioinformatics 23, 2415–2422 (2007).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Kim, P.M. & Tidor, B. Genome Res. 13, 2391–2395 (2003).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Rosenfeld, N., Young, J.W., Alon, U., Swain, P.S. & Elowitz, M.B. Mol. Syst. Biol. 3, 143 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Arkin, A.P. & Fletcher, D.A. Genome Biol. 7, 114 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Maerkl, S.J. & Quake, S.R. Science 315, 233–237 (2007).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Temme, K. et al. J. Mol. Biol. 377, 47–61 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Singh, A.H., Wolf, D.M., Wang, P. & Arkin, A.P. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105, 7500–7505 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Wolf, D.M. & Arkin, A.P. Curr. Opin. Microbiol. 6, 125–134 (2003).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Barrick, D. et al. Nucleic Acids Res. 22, 1287–1295 (1994).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Win, M.N. & Smolke, C.D. Biotechnol. Genet. Eng. Rev. 24, 311–346 (2007).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Dueber, J.E., Mirsky, E.A. & Lim, W.A. Nat. Biotechnol. 25, 660–662 (2007).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Mandell, J.G. & Barbas, C.F. Nucleic Acids Res. 34, W516–523 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Cello, J., Paul, A.V. & Wimmer, E. Science 297, 1016–1018 (2002).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Gibson, D.G. et al. Science 319, 1215–1220 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Arkin, A. Setting the standard in synthetic biology. Nat Biotechnol 26, 771–774 (2008).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing