Special Issue on Emerging Applications in Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology: Commercialisation, Regulation and Governance

Published 18 January, 2021

Synthetic biology is an emerging field of research that involves the application of engineering methods to biology. The goal is to create new biological components and systems or to redesign existing organisms with novel abilities. In recent years, both biotechnological advancements and economic changes have driven rapid development of synthetic biology research and applications. Benefits include the creation of original and effective solutions for clinical treatments, food production and other global health, agricultural and environmental problems. However, advances in synthetic biology also pose potential risks to human health and the environment, as well as some unique legal challenges to biotechnology regulatory systems. In this special issue of Synthetic and Systems Biotechnology, we will  explore the legal and ethical issues associated with the commercialisation of products using synthetic biology strategies, as well as other complex societal issues related to the topic; for example, public perceptions, stakeholder and public engagement and media discourse, etc.

Topics Covered:

These will include, but not be limited to:

  • Legal and ethical concerns about manipulating life
  • Biosafety and biosecurity in synthetic biology applications
  • Media coverage of synthetic biology and specific innovations
  • Public perceptions and attitudes; public and stakeholder engagement
  • Legal barriers for the commercialisation of synthetic biology
  • The role of IP rights in biotechnology innovation
  • Patentability issues concerning specific innovations
  • Uncertainty and risk in emerging biotechnologies and their regulatory systems

Important Deadlines:

  • Submission deadline (for full papers): 30 September 2021
  • Publication date: upon acceptance

Submission Instructions:

Please read the Guide for Authors before submitting. All articles should be submitted online; please select the special issue “Emerging Applications in Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology: Commercialisation, Regulation and Governance”.

Manuscripts will be reviewed and published on a first-come, first-served basis. Once all accepted manuscripts are published, they will be pulled together in this special issue.

Guest Editor:

  • Dr. Li Du, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Macau, China. Email: stephendu@um.edu.mo


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