The collaboration between scientists and artists in the form of Artist-in-Lab residencies may not only cause a productive disturbance for a day’s work in the laboratory, but also reveal new ways of understanding. Research and science communication company Biofaction has brought together artists and synthetic biologists throughout Europe in a residence program that spans four truly cross-disciplinary collaborations. The contributors to this volume share their reflections of the dynamic frictions that occurred when their artistic and scientific worlds met. These stories, where chemistry labs, tobacco plants, genetically edited bacteria, and new-to-nature enzymes collide with music, photography, film, and visual arts, infuse the ongoing dialogue between art and sciences with grain, noise, and synergies.

Schmidt M (ed.) 2023. Grain & Noise: Artists in Synthetic Biology Labs – Constructive Disturbances of Art in Science. Transcript Publishing, Bielefeld


Pei L., Garfinkel M., Schmidt M. 2022. Bottlenecks and opportunities for synthetic biology biosafety standards. Nature Communications. 13, 2175.


Schmidt M., Kubyshkin V. 2021. How to quantify a genetic firewall? A polarity based metric for genetic code engineering. ChemBioChem. 22, 1268–1284 . See also an interactive 3D model of the genetic code (metric) space.


de Lorenzo V., Krasnogor N., Schmidt M. 2020. For the sake of the Bioeconomy: define what a Synthetic Biology Chassis is! New BIOTECHNOLOGY 60: 44-51

Budisa N., Kubyshkin V., Schmidt M. 2020. Xenobiology: a journey towards parallel life forms. ChemBioChem


Beal J., Goñi-Moreno A., Myers C., Hecht A., del Carmen de Vicente M., Parco M., Schmidt M., Timmis K., Baldwin G., Friedrichs S., Freemont P., Kiga D., Ordozgoiti E., Rennig M., Rios L., Tanner K., de Lorenzo V., Porcar M. 2020. The long journey towards standards for engineering biosystems. EMBO Reports. 21:e50521


Teunisse W., Youssef S., Schmidt M. 2019. Human enhancement through the lens of experimental and speculative neurotechnologies. Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies.


★ Schmidt M. 2019. A metric space for semantic containment: Towards the implementation of genetic firewalls. Biosystems. Vol. 185, 104015.


★ Pei L, Schmidt M. 2018. Novel biotechnological approaches to produce biological compounds: challenges and opportunities for science communication. Current Opinion in Biotechnology. Vol. 56: 43-47.


★ Pei L, Schmidt M. 2018. Fast-growing engineered microbes: new concerns for Gain-of-Function research?Frontiers in Genetics. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2018.00207


★ Nakajima R., Shigeno S., Zullo L., De Sio F., Schmidt M. 2018.Cephalopods between Science, Art, and Engineering: a contemporary synthesis. Frontiers in Communication: Science and Environmental Communication. doi: 10.3389/fcomm.2018.00020


★ Schmidt M., Dejean A. 2018. A dolichoderine ant that constructs traps to collectively ambush prey: convergent evolution with a myrmicine genus. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society doi:10.1093/biolinnean/bly028


★ Dudnik A, et al. 2017. BacHBerry: BACterial Hosts for production of Bioactive phenolics from bERRY fruits. Phytochemistry Reviews 


★ Schmidt M, Pei L, Budisa N. 2017. Xenobiology: State-of-the-art, Ethics and Philosophy of new-to-nature organisms. Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology. doi: 10.1007/10_2016_14. [Epub ahead of print]


★ deLorenzo V. and Schmidt M. 2017. Biological standards for the Knowledge-Based BioEconomy: what is at stakeNew Biotechnology. DOI: 10.1016/j.nbt.2017.05.001


★ deLorenzo V. and Schmidt M. 2017. The do-it-yourself movement as a source of innovation in biotechnology – and much more. Microbial Biotechnology  Vol 10(3):517–519  


★ Radchuk O, Kerbe W, Schmidt M. 2016. Homo Politicus meets Homo Ludens: Public participation in serious life science games. Public Understanding of Science (doi:10.1177/0963662516653030)


★ Schmidt M, deLorenzo V. 2016 Synthetic bugs on the loose: containment options for deeply engineered (micro)organismsCurrent Opinion in Biotechnology Vol. 38:90–96


★ Kerbe W. 2015.  What is Life—in Everyday Understanding? A Focus Group Study on Lay Perspectives on the Term Life. Artificial Life. Early online access doi:10.1162/ARTL_a_00181


★ Schmidt M, Meyer A, Cserer A. 2015. The film festival Bio:fiction: sensing possibilities how a debate about synthetic biology might evolvePublic Understanding of Science. Vol. 24(5) 619–635


★ Kerbe W, Schmidt M. 2015. Splicing boundaries: the experiences of bioart exhibition visitors. Leonardo. Vol. 48, No. 2, pp. 128–136


Wei W, Pei L, Schmidt M and Xu J. 2014. Biosafety Considerations of Synthetic Biology: Lessons Learned from Transgenic Technology. Curr Synthetic Sys Biol, Vol.2:3


★ Seyfried G, Pei L, Schmidt M. 2014. European Do-it-yourself (DIY) Biology: beyond the hope, hype and horrorBioEssays. Vol. 36(6)


★ Meyer A, Cserer A, Schmidt M. 2013. Frankenstein 2.0.: Identifying and characterising synthetic biology engineers in science fiction filmsLife Sciences, Society and Policy. Vol: 9:9.


★ Torgersen T, Schmidt M. 2013. Frames and comparators: How might a debate on synthetic biology evolve? Futures. Vol. 48: 44-54


★ Guan Z, Schmidt M, Pei L, Wei W, Ma K. 2013. Biosafety considerations of synthetic biology in the international Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competitionBioscience. Vol. 63 (1):25-34


★ Acevedo-Rocha CG, Fang G, Schmidt M, Ussery DW, Danchin A. 2013. From essential to persistent genes: a functional approach to constructing synthetic lifeTrends in Genetics. Vol 29 (5):273-9


★ Schmidt M, de Lorenzo V. 2012. Synthetic constructs in/for the environment: Managing the interplay between natural and engineered BiologyFEBSLetters Vol. 586: 2199–2206


★ Pei L, Gaisser S, Schmidt M. 2011. Synthetic Biology in the view of European public funding organizationPublic Understanding of Sciences.  Vol.1: 1–14


★ Schmidt M, Pei L. 2011. Synthetic Toxicology: Where engineering meets biology and toxicologyToxicological Sciences. 120(S1), S204–S224


★ Pei L, Schmidt M, Wei W. 2011. Synthetic biology: an emerging research field in China. Biotechnology Advances. Vol 29(6):804-814.


★ Pei L, Schmidt M, Wei W. 2011. Can synthetic biology bring sustainable development to China? Biochemist. Vol 33(5):14-18


★ Ford-Lloyd BV, Schmidt M, et al. 2011. Crop Wild Relatives—Undervalued, Underutilized and under Threat? BioScience. Vol. 61, No. 7: pp. 559-565


★ Pei L, Gaisser S, Schmidt M. 2011. Synthetic Biology in the view of European public funding organization. Public Understanding of Sciences. Vol.1: 1–14


★ Schmidt M, Pei L. 2011. Synthetic Toxicology: Where engineering meets biology and toxicology. Toxicological Sciences. 120(S1), S204–S224


Older publications…


★ Schmidt M (ed.) 2023. Grain & Noise: Artists in Synthetic Biology Labs – Constructive Disturbances of Art in Science. Transcript Publishing, Bielefeld

Ordozgoiti E, Porcar M., Baldwin G., de Lorenzo V., Ríos L., Elfick A., Schyfter P., Delgado A.M., Schmidt M., Garfinkel M, Pei L. 2021. Standardisation in Syntheic Biology: A White Book. State-of-the-art and recommendations for policy makers. Univ. of Valencia, Spain



Schmidt M. Budisa N. (2020). Alternative Biofacts – Life as we don’t (yet) know it. In: Berger E, Mäki-Reinikka K, O’Reilly K, Sederholm H. (eds.) Art as We Don’t Know It. Aalto University Press


★ Schmidt M. (ed.) 2018. The Art of Antibiotics: Two residencies. Two artists.Two labs. Morawa, Vienna


★ Schmidt M, Pei L. (2018). Synthetic Biology: From Genetic Engineering 2.0 to Responsible Research and Innovation. In: Smolke (ed.) 2018. Synthetic Biology: Parts, Devices and Applications. Wiley-VCH, Weinheim ISBN: 978-3-527-33075-1


★ Pei, L. and Schmidt M. 2016. Sustainable Assessment on Using Bacterial Platform to Produce High-Added-Value Products from Berries through Metabolic Engineering. Systems Biology Application in Synthetic Biology. S. Singh (ed), Springer71-78


★ Seyfried G, Schmidt M. (forthcoming) Standardisierte Biologie – Ein wissenschaftlicher Kochworkshop. Proceedings of the Prototype Nature Conference and Workshop.


★ Kerbe W., Khodhzaeva A., Schmidt M. 2015. Using Short Films for Public Engagement with Synthetic Biology. Proceedings form the 2015 PACITA Conference in Berlin: The Next Horizon of Technology Assessment.


★ Schmidt M, Pei L. 2015. Improving Biocontainment with Synthetic Biology: Beyond Physical Containment. In: Timmis, KN., Nogales B, McGenity TJ. Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology


★ Schmidt M. 2014. Laboratorium: Kunst und Naturwissenschaften. Dokumentationsband des Jahresthemas 2011/12  „ArteFakte. Wissen ist Kunst – Kunst ist Wissen“ der Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften


★ Schmidt M, Meinhart C, Radchuk O. 2014. A serious game for public engagement in synthetic biology. In: Göbel, S., Wiemeyer, J. (Eds.) Games for training, Education, Health and Sports. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Serious Games, GameDays 2014. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer International Publishing: Darmstadt, Germany


★ Schmidt M, Pei L, Kelle A, Wei W. 2014. Biohacking: Keeping Synthetic Biology Research Safe and Responsible Among Amateur Biologists. P31-42 in: Friesinger G, Herwig J (eds.) (2014) The Art of Reverse Engineering. Open-Dissect-Rebuild. Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld


★ Pei L. 2013. The Current Regulations and Opinions for Biosecurity of Synthetic Biology. In: “Future Biosecurity Challenges in Detection, Preemption, and Mitigation: The Nexus of Public Health, Law Enforcement, and National Security”. (e-book, p55)


★ Schmidt M. 2013. Safeguarding the Genetic Firewall with Xenobiology. In: ISGP. 2013. 21st Century Borders/Synthetic Biology: Focus on Responsibility and Governance.


★ Schmidt M, 2013. Inszenierung der Synthetischen Biologie in Wissenschaft, Medien, Film und Kunst. p 33-50 in:  Tagungsdokumentation: Werkstatt Leben Bedeutung der Synthetischen Biologie für Wissenschaft und Gesellschaft. Hamburg. Deutscher Ethikrat


★ Torgersen H, Schmidt M. 2012. Perspektiven der Kommunikation für die Synthetische Biologie. Weitze, M-D, Pühler A, Heckl W.M., Müller-Röber B, Renn O, Weingart P. Wess G. (Hrsg.) 2012. Biotechnologie-Kommunikation. Kontroversen, Analysen, Aktivitäten (acatech) DISKUSSION), Heidelberg u.a.: Springer Verlag

WiliMan ID

2023 – 2027

Ecology of Wildlife, Livestock, huMan and Infectious Diseases in changing environments


★ Schmidt M. (ed.) 2012. Synthetic Biology: Industrial and Environmental Applications. Wiley-VCH


★ Schmidt M. 2012. Xenobiologie: Neues Leben mit integrierter Biosicherheit. In: Boldt J, Müller O, Maio G. 2012. Leben schaffen?Philosophische und ethische Reflexionen zur Synthetischen Biologie. Mentis, Paderborn


★ Cserer A, Seiringer A, Schmidt M. 2011. Darstellungen der Synthetischen Biologie. p369-386. In : Dabrock P, Bölker M, Braun M, Ried J (Hg.) (2011), Was ist Leben – im Zeitalter seiner technischen Machbarkeit? Beiträge zur Ethik der Synthetischen Biologie. Freiburg, Alber

★ Schmidt M. 2011. Biosicherheit und Synthetische Biologie.

Kapitel 11 in: Pühler A. Müller-Röber B, Weitze MD (Hrsg.). Synthetische Biologie. Acatech Diskussion


★ Schmidt M, Dando M, Deplazes A. 2011. Dealing with the outer reaches of synthetic biology. Biosafety, biosecurity, IPR and ethical challenges of chemical synthetic biology.

In: Luisi PL (Ed) 2011. Chemical Synthetic Biology. Wiley Publishing


★ Schmidt M. 2018. Auf dem Weg zu einer neuartigen Impfung gegen Mykoplasmen.


★ Schmidt M. 2018. From Synthetic Genomes to Designer Vaccines. 


★ Schmidt M. 2018. Synthetic vaccines. Nature Biotechnology – Bioentrepreneur – Trade Secrets


★ Schmidt M. 2017. The Gene Editing BazaarNature Biotechnology – Bioentrepreneur – Trade Secrets


★ Schmidt M. 2016. Can RRI help to overcome ethical issues in new and emerging (bio)technologies? RRI Tools Blog. 


★ deLorenzo V. and Schmidt M. 2015. The Power Game: Setting standards for synthetic biology.

Nature Biotechnology – Bioentrepreneur – Trade Secrets


★ Radchuk O. and Schmidt M. 2015. Synthetic biology gets inspiration from the sea


★ Schmidt M. 2015. Unlocking Marine Biotechnology.

Nature Biotechnology – Bioentrepreneur – Trade Secrets


★ Radchuk O. and Schmidt M. 2015. Standards in Synthetic Biology Workshop.


★ Torgersen H. and Schmidt M. 2013. Sag, wie ist die Synthetische Biologie? Die Macht von Vergleichen für das Image einer Technologie.


★ Schmidt M. 2012. Forskere vil opbygge nye genetiske meta-koder. (in Danish)


★ Schmidt M and Fuchs S, 2012. Obsolescence and synthetic biology. Sustainable to evolvable.

Arup Thoughts Blog


★ Schmidt M, 2012. The Green Gold Rush.

Nature Biotechnology – Bioentrepreneur – Trade Secrets


★ Vermeire T. et al. 2015.  Final Opinion on Synthetic Biology II: Risk assessment methodologies and safety aspects.

Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR)


★ Vermeire T. et al. 2014. Final Opinion on Synthetic Biology: Definition.

Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR)


★ Schmidt M, Meinhart C, Radchuk O. 2014. Communicating synthetic biology via SYNMOD game.

ISAGA (International Simulation and Gaming Association) conference in Dornbirn, Austria. July 2014.


★ Radchuk O., Meinhart C, Schmidt M. 2014- A serious game for public engagement in synthetic biology.

GameDays 2014. Darmstadt, Germany. 1-4 April 2014.


★ Schmidt M, Meinhart C, Radchuk O. 2014. Bridging science and society: communicating synthetic biology.

Poster at the 2nd EMBO Conference on Visualizing Biological Data (VIZBI 2014). EMBL-Heidelberg in Germany. 5-7 March 2014


★ Kerbe W. 2013. What is life – in everyday discourse? 

Poster PA-135 at the SB 6.0 Conference, London, UK. 9-11 July, 2013


★ Radchuk O, Meinhart C, Schmidt M. 2013. Gamifying Synthetic Biology: the SYNMOD mobile game.

Poster PA-239 at the SB 6.0 Conference, London, UK. 9-11 July, 2013


★ Schmidt M, Pei L, Marliere P. 2013. Xenobiology and Biosafety: Challenges and Opportunities.

Poster PA-265 at the SB 6.0 Conference, London, UK. 9-11 July, 2013


★ Torgersen H, Schmidt M, 2013. Frames and comparators: the Case of Synthetic Biology.

Session 46: Practices of Risk and Technology Deliberation: Studying the Dynamics Connecting and Disconnecting Experts, Policy-Makers and Publics in Conflicts over Technology. 8th International Interpretive Policy Analysis Conference (IPA). Vienna, Austria. 3-5 July, 2013


★ Pei L. 2013. Xenobiology and biosafety: challenges and opportunities

16th conference of the European Biosafety Association (EBSA). 19 to 20 June 2013. Basel, Switzerland.


★ Schmidt M. 2012. Xenobiologie: Andere Lebensformen sind machbar.

(Editorial) BIOspektrum Vol.18(6): 567

★ Kerbe W, Schmidt M. 2012. Engineering Life? Synthetische Biologie und die Technisierung des Lebendigen.

Soziale Technik 2/2012.

★ Schmidt M, Torgersen H, Kuffner A., Bedstedt B, Gram S. 2012. World Wide Views on Biodiversity – Information Booklet.


★ Schmidt M, Hauser J. 2012. synth-ethic. Fahrenheit.  Año 10 N°54. 26. October 2012


★ Schmidt M, Torgersen H. 2012. Standardising Synthetic Biology: Contributing to the Bioeconomy?

Chapter 6 in: Making Perfect Life Bio-engineering (in) the 21st Century. Final Report European Governance Challenges in Bio-engineering Deliverable No.5 of the STOA Project “Making Perfect Life”Commissioned by STOA and carried out by ETAG