Finally, a synthetic organism that worries me

It was recently in the news that researchers have genetically engineered tobacco with 40% more efficient photosynthesis. I had first seen this kind of research at a seminar during my graduate years at MIT. The presenter noted that the genetically engineered plants grew faster and showed memorable side-by-side pictures of scrawny-looking normal plants next to their larger and lusher engineered brothers. I tried to find out more after the fact, but had forgotten the name of the presenter and lab. When I searched online for the research, I found lots of people proposing doing this kind of thing, but not the lush success story I had just seen. I wanted to learn more not because it was super cool and hugely important (which it was), but because it was the first (and to date only) example of what I thought was a dangerous genetically modified organism.

Stochasticity Incompatible with Optimization

I have been thinking about the design of a framework capable of modelling an entire cell. Two of the design specifications, stochasticity and optimization, that I have been planning to incorporate seem to be incompatible.