Secretary of Synthetic Biology

By Carl Zimmer | December 11, 2008 10:39 am

Barack Obama has picked Steven Chu, director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at Berkeley as his Secretary of Energy. This will be interesting–what happens when you put a Nobel-prize winning scientist in charge of a government department? Here’s one prediction: expect a lot of synthetic biology. Practically nobody has heard of synthetic biology today, but that will probably change.


Comments (11)

  1. Federal appendages have goals of growth, invasion, and metathesis (e.g., Homeland Severity). Process not product! An advocate makes virtue of failure. The worse the cure the better the treatment – and the more that is required. America’s vast renewable fuel resource is bio-spermaceti. Restore and harvest the Grand Banks,

    If all roads sloped downhill fuel consumption would be drastically, permanently reduced. It is an engineering and public works problem independent of science. No Chu-Chu train for America. Prayer and filled collection plates will save us. Test of faith!

  2. This is going to be great. It s

  3. I’d like to think with an Obama administration there will be an increase in positions in the sciences available…so hopefully finding a job after graduation this year will be a piece of cake. :)

  4. Jessica

    This is so exciting! A slightly off topic comment: There has been speculation that this scientist will not be able to deal with the politics in Washington. But any PI in a any big university or in a position such as Director of Lawrence Labs has most certainly had to deal with plenty of politics. I say good luck, Dr. Chu.

    Love your site, Mr. Zimmer!

  5. Amos Kenigsberg (Discover Web Editor)

    Do you think Chu himself will somehow advance synth bio from his perch in Energy, Carl? Will he pull strings elsewhere? Will other folks do it?

  6. Gloria

    A good start point for Obama and friends to learn synthetic biology and evolutionary theory basics: evolution, review from Biology Questions and Answers.


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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.


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