Ensuring the Responsible Use of Synthetic DNA | AIChE

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Ensuring the Responsible Use of Synthetic DNA

SBE Special Section

DNA synthesis companies must ensure that the synthetic DNA they create is used only in responsible research. Continued investment in biosecurity will be critical as synthetic biology technologies advance.

The design, build, test, and learn cycle of synthetic biology has created new opportunities to leverage living systems to manufacture high-value compounds at lower costs and higher scales than previously possible. These advances, in large part, depend on access to low-cost, high-quality synthetic DNA. DNA serves as the instructions to these living systems, telling them what to make and how to make it.

Traditional methods of DNA synthesis are slow and expensive, tied to low-throughput platforms that produce a handful of genes at a time. Twist Bioscience miniaturized DNA synthesis on a silicon surface, increasing synthesis density while minimizing reagent use and cost. Access to lower-cost, higher-quality DNA allows researchers and industrial scientists to run more experiments and test more hypotheses. This, in turn, supports innovation and fosters advancements in manufacturing, medicine, diagnostics, energy, food production, and sustainability.

This article describes the importance of biosecurity in ensuring synthetic DNA is used responsibly and the need for continued investment in, and advancement of, techniques, tools, and expertise for estimating biological risk...


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