BIOFAB’s development of these specialized ‘nuts and bolts’ is a critical step fueling the bioengineering revolution, and we are excited to be the first company to put them in the hands of scientists—Claes Gustafsson, COO and cofounder of DNA2.0.
Menlo Park, Calif. (PRWEB) July 28, 2011
DNA2.0 today announced that the first collection of biological building blocks characterized by the BIOFAB International Open Facility Advancing Biotechnology (BIOFAB) are now available for use in the design and assembly of genes within DNA2.0’s Gene Designer software. The free-to-use BIOFAB genetic parts are distributed as virtual sequences in the newly minted gene marketplace embedded within DNA2.0’s gene design and assembly application. This “app store” for molecular biology and biotechnology provides scientists and bioengineers access to powerful preassembled and validated DNA elements for making genetic constructs with Gene Designer. DNA2.0 becomes the first commercial vendor to provide access—through a few clicks of a mouse—to the initial collection of biological parts developed by BIOFAB.
Synthetic biology is fueling the transformation of biology from a discovery science to an engineering discipline, where genetic sequences are designed and manufactured to produce new chemicals, processes or tools derived directly from engineered cells. For synthetic biology to progress, development times and costs must be constrained through the use of standardized parts and common infrastructure. BIOFAB’s mission is to streamline the process of engineering genetic systems so that researchers can better mix and match pre-made DNA parts—e.g. control elements such as promoters or transcription factors—to reduce the development time currently spent on combining and validating multi-functional DNA elements.
“The BIOFAB parts that are now available through Gene Designer are part of a pilot collection of transcription and translation controllers—and also include a first set of engineered terminators,” said BIOFAB Director Drew Endy, of Stanford Bioengineering and the BioBricks Foundation. “With the pilot collection we’ve made and characterized all combinations of the most frequently used promoters and 5’ UTRs in order to quantitatively describe how the genetic part performance varies across changing DNA contexts. This data allows us to estimate both the primary activity of a part—e.g., the strength of a promoter—and also the quality of a part—e.g., how much its strength will vary across contexts. We are thrilled to collaborate with DNA2.0 in making this important information freely available to dedicated researchers who are endeavoring to make the world better by working with biology.”
DNA2.0 developed the free software application, Gene Designer, to help scientists create genes with a graphically rich computer-aided design tool that enables bioengineers to easily manipulate and visualize DNA elements such as promoters, terminators, fusion tags and vector components. By embedding a marketplace of third-party, pretested parts, the process of creating optimized or novel genes is greatly enhanced, and researchers save precious development time and money. Furthermore, the creation of a dynamic gene marketplace offers the scientific community a place to develop and share new biological parts. DNA2.0 will continue to expand the catalog of DNA components available within Gene Designer and looks forward to partnering with a wide range of developers to offer users a rich marketplace of preassembled DNA elements.
“BIOFAB’s development of these specialized ‘nuts and bolts’ is a critical step fueling the bioengineering revolution, and we are excited to be the first company to put them in the hands of scientists,” said Claes Gustafsson, COO and cofounder of DNA2.0. “Key to the development and functioning of Gene Designer is the concept of a toolbox of virtual DNA elements that can be mixed and matched or saved and used repeatedly—which harmonizes with BIOFAB’s approach of creating broadly useful collections of standard biological parts. Offering BIOFAB parts through Gene Designer is a natural fit.”
DNA2.0 is the leading bioengineering solutions provider. Founded in 2003, DNA2.0 provides an integrated pipeline of solutions for the research community, including gene design, optimization, synthesis and cloning, as well as platforms for protein and strain engineering. It is the fastest provider of synthetic genes—based in the US with a global customer base encompassing academia, government and the pharmaceutical, chemical, agricultural and biotechnology industries. DNA2.0 is by far the most published synthetic gene vendor, providing expert support to and collaboration with scientists. DNA2.0 explores novel applications for synthetic genes and is exploiting the synergy between highly efficient gene design and synthesis processes and new protein optimization technologies. DNA2.0’s tools and solutions are fueling the transformation of biology from a discovery science to an engineering discipline. The company is privately held and is headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif. For more information, please visit http://www.DNA20.com.
About The BIOFAB
The BIOFAB: International Open Facility Advancing Biotechnology (BIOFAB) was founded in December 2009 as the world's first biological design-build facility. This professionally staffed public-benefit facility was initiated by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and is led by bioengineers from UC Berkeley and Stanford University. The BIOFAB is operated in partnership with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), the BioBricks Foundation (BBF), and the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (SynBERC). BIOFAB projects are designed to produce broadly useful collections of standard biological parts that can be made freely available to both academic and commercial users, while also enabling the rapid design and prototyping of genetic constructs needed to support specific needs of partner efforts such as SynBERC Testbeds. The BIOFAB will thus also represent the first significant focused investment in the development of open technology platforms underlying and supporting the next generation of biotechnology. Once fully operational the BIOFAB facility will be capable of producing tens of thousands of professionally engineered high quality standard biological parts each year.
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