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NOTICE: The Interdisciplinary Research (IDR) team summaries in this publication are based on IDR team discussions during the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative Conference on Synthetic Biology held at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center in Irvine, California, November 20-22, 2009. The discussions in these groups were summarized by the authors and reviewed by the members of each IDR team. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the IDR teams and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for this project. For more information on the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative visit

Funding for the activity that led to this publication was provided by the W.M. Keck Foundation. Based in Los Angeles, the W. M. Keck Foundation was established in 1954 by the late W.M. Keck, founder of the Superior Oil Company. In recent years, the Foundation has focused on five broad areas: Science and Engineering research; Undergraduate Education; Medical Research; and Southern California. Each grant program invests in people and programs that are making a difference in the quality of life, now and for the future. For more information visit

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