Imagine decomposing a cell into a simple set of LEGO-like modules that can be mass produced, widely distributed, and inexpensively accessible. These modules could be combined in an almost infinite number of permutations to create any chemical or biological functions desired. Further imagine a teenager playing with such technology in a basement or garage, hacking biological systems just as many now hack software and hardware to create novel computer systems and applications. That vision is the premise of Robert H. Carlson's book.
Root-Bernstein R. Biology Is Technology: The Promise, Peril, and New Business of Engineering Life. JAMA. 2010;304(16):1845-1846. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1552