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Microbial ecosystems play an important role in nature. Engineering these systems for industrial, medical, or biotechnological purposes are important pursuits for synthetic biologists and biological engineers moving forward. Here, we provide a review of recent progress in engineering natural and synthetic microbial ecosystems. We highlight important forward engineering design principles, theoretical and quantitative models, new experimental and manipulation tools, and possible applications ofdoi:10.1039/c2mb25133g pmid:22722235 pmcid:PMC3430802 fatcat:2psspvtj2vaqbhez5qquo3lv5u