This is true. Alright, let's see if I have this whole -os thing figured out:
Ethos: Arkin is a division director at a national lab and is involved with everything biology from megagenomics of soil microbes to open biofab facilities. He's one of the oldest names in both systems biology (how do all the moving parts come together to make a cell work) and synthetic biology. You'll find he's on a large fraction of the references in any textbook on either subject.
Pathos: at the risk of abusing the word cool, synbio (synthetic biology) is cool. It's boarding on topics of sci-fi, it had promise in biofuels, medicine, agriculture, ecology, medicine, and many more. It had the goal of turning biology into a true engineering discipline. There are a ton of major hurdles to overcome before this goes from a pipe dream to any sort of reality though.
Logos: those hurdles are no joke. What we understand of biology is complex, noisy and almost unpredictable. And that's just what we know. There are all mountains of open questions in all fields of biology. What gene produces what protein? That's been a solved problem for decades, just look up any codon table or scan a genome database. When that gene is expressed? To what degree? Hard. Borderline intractable at the moment.
And that's about where the lecture starts. The progress made in the last decade and a half in building and understanding the very most basic elements of single-cellular biology and slowly fashioning predictable machinery and understanding how to connect it all together to finally begin making nontrivial additions in functionality.
Want anything from gene therapy more complex that fixing single point mutations to dna? This is the that may one day achieve the stuff of dreams.
Synbio is no doubt notorious for hype, but the link above is a nice bit of grounding within the context of the above.