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Startup Offers Pre-Built Biological Parts 71

TechReviewAl writes "A new startup called Ginkgo BioWorks hopes to make synthetic-biology simpler than ever by assembling biological parts, such as strings of specific genes, for industry and academic scientists. While companies already exist to synthesize pieces of DNA, Ginkgo assembles synthesized pieces of DNA to create functional genetic pathways. (Assembling specific genes into long pieces of DNA is much cheaper than synthesizing that long piece from scratch.) Company cofounder Tom Knight, also a research scientist at MIT, says: 'I'm interested in transitioning biology from being sort of a craft, where every time you do something it's done slightly differently, often in ad hoc ways, to an engineering discipline with standardized methods of arranging information and standardized sets of parts that you can assemble to do things.'"

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