It looks like a whole year has passed and I am afraid it is almost ‘that’ time: the time to say goodbye.
I have been honored to serve as your PLOSSynbio Community Editor for 2016/2017, and I hope that you enjoyed the news I picked for you. Synbio is an amazing field, and I believe that this is in large part due to the community that is growing around it, and that contributes to making it so very special. This is the reason why I decided to put a lot of effort in my interview articles: to give a more personal voice to this community and to help you get to know its key players a little bit better.
I have enjoyed interviewing people from academia, such as Professor Frances Arnold that gave us insights about the importance of enzyme engineering in synthetic biology, or Professor David McMillen, who spoke to me about one of the very first all Canadian synbio projects.
Industry is blooming in the field, and it is also thanks to people like Bill Liao that help financing innovative ideas for the creation of synbio start-ups, such as Julie Legault’s AminoBio that is trying to bring synthetic biology to the lay public or, in the past, Synthace, that has now grown into a biology software company with their brand new product Antha. And how to forget the start-up Fragrant Moss, the very first example of direct interaction between the public and a synbio product for the house!
It was inspiring to hear the CEO of Evolva (Neil Goldsmith) speaking about how their pioneering idea of a ‘genetic chemistry’ company has now been transformed into one of the most successful biotech/synbio companies. And what to say about companies like Ginkgo and Arzeda that are making chemical production more sustainable through biofermentation, novel computational tools and enzyme engineering: my dream come through! I will always be grateful to have had the opportunity to speak with Christina Agapakis (Ginkgo’s Creative Director) and with Alex Zanghellini (CEO of Arzeda).
And what better opportunity to stay up to date on what’s going on in the field than to participate in exclusive conferences in the field: Biofabricate, The BioWorldCongress on Industrial Biotechnology and GRCSynbio. Don’t miss the occasion to participate to future versions of them! Biofabricate2017 comes back this week in New York on the 7th of December!
I also very much appreciated the contributions of many writers from our community that put a great effort in sharing their expertise and ideas with us through many interesting articles that made the blog even more special.
Last, but not least I would like to thank you all, for taking the time to read my pieces, for your enthusiasm for the field of synthetic biology: keep it up! It is you that make it special!
Oh, before I go… Something important! While I will be around for a little bit longer to ensure a smooth transition (and hopefully I will sporadically contribute with some posts for this blog in the future), PLOSSynbio will now be looking for a new Community Editor: is this going to be you? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org!