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Synthetic Biology underpins advances in the bioeconomy

Biological systems - including the simplest cells - exhibit a broad range of functions to thrive in their environment. Research in the Imperial College Centre for Synthetic Biology is focused on the possibility of engineering the underlying biochemical processes to solve many of the challenges facing society, from healthcare to sustainable energy. In particular, we model, analyse, design and build biological and biochemical systems in living cells and/or in cell extracts, both exploring and enhancing the engineering potential of biology. 

As part of our research we develop novel methods to accelerate the celebrated Design-Build-Test-Learn synthetic biology cycle. As such research in the Centre for Synthetic Biology highly multi- and interdisciplinary covering computational modelling and machine learning approaches; automated platform development and genetic circuit engineering ; multi-cellular and multi-organismal interactions, including gene drive and genome engineering; metabolic engineering; in vitro/cell-free synthetic biology; engineered phages and directed evolution; and biomimetics, biomaterials and biological engineering.



BibTex format

author = {Storch, M and Haines, MC and Baldwin, GS},
doi = {synbio/ysaa010},
journal = {Synthetic Biology},
pages = {ysaa010--ysaa010},
title = {DNA-BOT: a low-cost, automated DNA assembly platform for synthetic biology},
url = {},
volume = {5},
year = {2020}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Multi-part DNA assembly is the physical starting point for many projects in Synthetic and Molecular Biology. The ability to explore a genetic design space by building extensive libraries of DNA constructs is essential for creating programmed biological systems. With multiple DNA assembly methods and standards adopted in the Synthetic Biology community, automation of the DNA assembly process is now receiving serious attention. Automation will enable larger builds using less researcher time, while increasing the accessible design space. However, these benefits currently incur high costs for both equipment and consumables. Here, we address this limitation by introducing low-cost DNA assembly with BASIC on OpenTrons (DNA-BOT). For this purpose, we developed an open-source software package and demonstrated the performance of DNA-BOT by simultaneously assembling 88 constructs composed of 10 genetic parts, evaluating the promoter, ribosome binding site and gene order design space for a three-gene operon. All 88 constructs were assembled with high accuracy, at a consumables cost of $1.50-$5.50 per construct. This illustrates the efficiency, accuracy and affordability of DNA-BOT, making it accessible for most labs and democratizing automated DNA assembly.
AU - Storch,M
AU - Haines,MC
AU - Baldwin,GS
DO - synbio/ysaa010
EP - 010
PY - 2020///
SN - 2397-7000
SP - 010
TI - DNA-BOT: a low-cost, automated DNA assembly platform for synthetic biology
T2 - Synthetic Biology
UR -
UR -
UR -
VL - 5
ER -