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Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves by Ed Regis, George Church

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PROLOGUE

FROM BIOPLASTICS TOH. SAPIENS 2.0

In December 2009, patrons of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, experienced a mild jolt of biological future shock when their pre-performance and intermission drinks—their beers, wines, and sodas—were served to them in a new type of clear plastic cup. The cups looked exactly like any other transparent plastic cup produced from petrochemicals, except for a single telling difference: each one bore the legend, “Plastic made 100% from plants.”

Plants?

Indeed. The plastic, known as Mirel, was the product of a joint venture between Metabolix, a Cambridge, Massachusetts, bioengineering ...

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