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BioBuilder by Kathryn M Hart, Karen Ingram, Rachel Bernstein, Natalie Kuldell PhD.

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Chapter 5. Introduction to the BioBuilder Labs

Biological Engineering with Synthetic Biology’s Toolkit

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The engineer’s process of “design-build-test” is similar to the scientific method of “hypothesize-test-analyze.” And though these processes are most often presented as linear endeavors that start with “design” for engineers and “hypothesis” for scientists, in reality they are iterative efforts that can begin at any point in the cycle. Consequently, the hands-on BioBuilder activities have several points of entry into the design-build-test paradigm and are intended to generate more scientific hypotheses, tests, and analyses. With any of the BioBuilder activities, you can explore the connection between the scientific and engineering approaches as you evaluate rationally designed living systems. Maybe you’ll want to pursue scientific exploratory options that launch from the starting material we provide, or maybe you’ll want to design new systems that work more reliably than the ones we provide or that meet new needs. Either way, this short preview of the scientific and engineering approaches in the BioBuilder labs is intended to frame these efforts within the practices of each field.

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Traditional explanations approach engineering by describing the design stage and approach science ...

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