Responsible Research and Innovation in synthetic biology

Synenergene is an action plan supported by the European Commission involving 28 European partners and 8 science museums, including MUSE. The aim is to establish an open dialogue between science, industry, society, politics, education and art on the potential risks and benefits of synthetic biology. By a knowledge sharing approach among the partners, the project explores the effectiveness of public awareness-raising strategies concerning synthetic biology to define suitable actions for strengthening the public’s scientific citizenship.
In line with the current responsible vision of scientific innovation management, Synenergene brings together visions, expertise and interests from various elements of our society involved in science policy. Moreover, ethics, governance and communication are exploited as focal tools for connecting scientific and technological development to the interests of the community on issues concerning synthetic biology.


What we know about synthetic biology

Synthetic biology is an application of biology. It enables the genomes of microorganisms like yeasts and bacteria to be re-programmed in order to generate microorganisms with minimal genomes, which are capable of reproducing independently, or even for biological systems which don't exist in nature to be constructed ex novo. Important examples of the varied objectives of synthetic biology include greater efficiency in producing molecules, which are useful for environmental, food and biomedical applications.

Do you want to know more about it?
You can watch the interview to Martin Hanczyc, Associate Professor at the University of Trento.

Vanilla-flavored synthetic biology

Sweets, perfumes, creams and many other products contain vanillin, the main molecule responsible for the vanilla aroma. Vanillin is traditionally extracted from plants. However, more effective methods can be used.
In which other ways can vanillin be obtained?
From April 2015, MUSE is offering a new activity, which intends to demonstrate to visitors how vanillin is produced by using innovative synthetic biology techniques. This activity is part of the Synenergene European project.

When and how to participate

The activity is free-of-charge to visitors. It will take place from April 2015 onwards:
Wednesday 22 April: 6PM, 7PM and 8PM
Saturday 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 May at: 2:30PM, 3:30PM and 4:30PM
For bookings, call +39 0461 270311. Duration: 45 minutes, 13 or older


Questions from MUSE visitors and answers from experts.