The European Union has announced $20 million in funding for a multinational program that will use the tools of synthetic biology for research in subjects such as genomics, nanotechnology and metabolic engineering. The initiative, known as ERASynBio, will be supported by 13 national science and technology agencies. "By applying engineering principles to biological research we have the potential to shape the future of industrial compounds, biofuels and new medicines," said Douglas Kell, chief executive of Britain's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

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