Synthetic biology centre picks up grants

The US National Science Foundation has awarded two grants to the synthetic biology project based at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington DC.

One grant is to support a workshop that will host EU and US researchers who will analyse the potential for synthetic biology in sustainable engineering. The technology has been touted as a way to create fuels more efficiently and absorb or convert greenhouse gases. The University of Virginia will work with the Wilson Center on organising the workshop.

The second grant is to explore how online prediction markets - which have controversially been touted as ways to predict things from terrorist attacks to financial meltdowns - can be used to tap into the public mood on synthetic biology.

“Although online prediction markets have attracted significant interest from scholars and increasing application in corporate environments, little work has been done to apply these markets to critical issues in science and technology,” claimed David Rejeski, director of the project at the Wilson Center.

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