I just came across this talk from 2007 by Stanford Professor Drew Endy, PhD, titled "Progamming DNA." Endy gave the lecture at the 24th Chaos Communication Congress, when he was a professor at MIT. It's fascinating. The talk begins with some very interesting questions:
If you look around the room, everything is hackable - except for the living stuff. . . . My hope is that I'll get answers to two questions - and also be able to leave the room. The two questions I have: Will there be biological hackers? I think the answer is yes, if there aren't already. And the second question is: Will there be a community around biological hacking?
And the rest is worth watching. Endy, of course, founded the BioBricks Foundation to work on just those questions.