We’ve collaborated on two new open-access papers that we think will provide you with food for thought:

The first, titled “The long journey towards standards for engineering biosystems”, featured in EMBO reports, springs out of an ongoing discussion about adopting scientific and industry-like standards within the field of Synthetic Biology. Having such standards would allow for increased efficiency and accuracy in engineering biological systems, yet many in the community are reluctant to adopt them, because of several issues, such as cost or loss of flexibility. Synthetic Biology key actors from North America, Europe and Asia are now involved in that international conversation under the umbrella of the EU H2020 project BIOROBOOST, and discuss their position and thoughts in this article.
You can also visit BIOROBOOST at standardsinsynbio.eu.

The second article, “Xenobiology: A Journey towards Parallel Life Forms” serves as an introduction and overview to a special collection in ChemBioChem dealing with Xenobiology, an emerging field that revolves around the redesign of biological systems with new, non-traditional building blocks. The resulting biological and biochemical systems are novel and new-to-nature. Our EU H2020 project MADONNA focuses on precisely this field and its many challenges. The ChemBioChem special collections issue “Xenobiology” highlights achievements within the field. Start here with the introduction and overview and go here for all the articles.
You can also visit MADONNA at madonnaproject.eu.