ISGP Podcast: Life as We [Don't] Know It

  You’ve heard of DNA, but what about XNA? XNA is a product of xenobiology, which is the development of new organisms using a genetic code that differs from the DNA/RNA/20 amino acid system that defines life on Earth. Organisms with an altered genetic code would not be able to trade genetic info with natural organisms, so xenobiology may facilitate the safe use of synthetic biology in the real world.<p></p> Debaters explore the possibilities of xenobiology during a discussion with Dr. Markus Schmidt, Founder of Biofaction KG, in Vienna, Austria, about his paper titled “Safeguarding the Genetic Firewall with Xenobiology.” This policy position paper was considered during the ISGP conference, 21st Century Borders/Synthetic Biology: Focus on Responsibility and Governance, convened December 4–7, 2012 in partnership with the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. For more podcasts, visit ISGP’s The Forum.