Topics course: An investigation of the emerging fields of synthetic biology and bio-nanotechnology drawn from semi-popular and primary research literature. In this seminar, we focus on that can be achieved by approaching biology from an engineering mindset. Specifically, what can be learned about cell biology by treating biological components (proteins and nucleic acids) and systems (signaling and metabolic networks) as interchangeable machine-like parts? Harnessing biological systems for the production of pharmaceuticals and hydrocarbon fuel sources is also considered. Finally, we explore the prospect of interacting with cells using devices made from biological building blocks and the potential to diagnose treat disease with these devices.