The creation of the synthetic cell is part of an effort to design a "minimal cell" containing only the most basic genome required for life.
Using a computer analogy, one can think of a cell’s cytoplasm as the hardware and the genome as the operating system. A synthetic cell is created by synthesizing a genome and installing it into a recipient cytoplasm.
Biology, an emerging engineering discipline to program cell behaviors as easily as we program computers.
Synthetic biology will improve our quantitative understanding of natural biological processes and will also have biotechnology applications in areas such as biosensing, synthesis of pharmaceutical products, molecular fabrication of biomaterials and nanostructures, and tissue engineering.