The synthetic biology project based at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington DC has picked up two grants from the US National Science Foundation.
One grant is to support a workshop that will host EU and US researchers looking at what synthetic biology can do, if anything, for sustainability. The University of Virginia will work with the Wilson Center on organising the workshop.
The second grant is to explore how online prediction markets - which have controversially been touted as ways to predict things from terrorist attacks to financial meltdowns - can be used to tap into the public mood on synthetic biology.
"Although online prediction markets have attracted significant interest from scholars and increasing application in corporate environments, little work has been done to apply these markets to critical issues in science and technology," said David Rejeski, director of the project at the Wilson Center in a statement.