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This forward-looking special section highlights a number of bio-design challenges to that the electronic design automation (EDA) community can explore, and it illustrates the many similarities and some key differences between EDA and synthetic biology. Guest Editors Doug Denmore and Soha Hassoun have put together this special section. They had to reach out to researchers who are from outside the traditional design and test community. The editor-in-chief welcomes these contributions from experts in parallel research areas, and hopes that D&T can develop longer-term alliances and attract readers and contributors from allied disciplines. The articles in the special section include a tutorial by the guest editors on synthetic biology and design using complementary methods of bottom-up assembly of genetic circuits and a higher-level approach based on the modification of genetic pathways. The next three articles cover the landscape of research advances, ranging from digital signal processing using molecular reactions, simulation of synthetic biology systems, and mathematically modeling of the dynamics in biological systems. A perspectives article on the convergence of EDA with synthetic biology provides historical context andmakes some bold predictions. Readerswill also find our regular Last Byte column that blends fact with fiction and provides a "creative" look at synthetic biology. This issue of D&T also includes three non-theme articles on system design. These include design space exploration of parallel, embedded hardware for executing Clifford algebra operations, hardware IP protection for secure ICs, and formal modeling to enable the verification of the on-chip communication fabric. Finally, the issue includes an article that highlights organizational dynamics and its relationship to team productivity in the semiconductor industry.