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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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March 19, 2010

A Bit More Garage Biotech

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Posted by Derek

Here's the sort of thing we'll be seeing more and more of - on the whole, I think it's a good development, but it's certainly possible that one's mileage could vary:

Ginkgo’s BioBrick Assembly Kit includes the reagents for constructing BioBrick parts, which are nucleic acid sequences that encode a specific biological function and adhere to the BioBrick assembly standard. The kit, which includes the instructions for putting those parts together, sells for $235 through the New England BioLabs, an Ipswich, MA-based supplier of reagents for the life sciences industry.

Shetty didn’t release any specific sales figures for the kit, but said its users include students, researchers, and industrial companies. The kit was also intended to be used in the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition (iGEM), in Cambridge, MA. The undergraduate contest, co-launched by Knight, challenges students teams to use the biological parts to build systems and operate them in living cells.

Comments (4) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Biological News


1. A "Synthetic Biologist" on March 19, 2010 11:32 AM writes...

Aside from the few labs that developed them, I've heard nothing but bad things about BioBricks. I see the value of the idea behind them, but apparently they're nearly unusable in practice.

And I don't think that Ginkgo quite qualifies as "garage biotech" - they have some pretty sweet lab space right on the Boston waterfront, and some fairly prominent researchers (Drew Endy, Tom Knight) behind the company. I'm just not so sure about their business model...

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2. get a life on March 19, 2010 9:18 PM writes...

You mean garbage bioech....

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3. Rich Rostrom on March 20, 2010 1:00 PM writes...

ASB: I think the point is not that Ginkgo is "garage biotech", but that BioBricks (if they work) would allow people to do "garage biotech".

Or at the very least, make biotech a lot more accessible on a low budget with minimal facilities.

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4. A "Synthetic Biologist" on March 20, 2010 3:44 PM writes...

Rich: Ah, I think you're right. I wasn't thinking about it that way, but that makes much more sense.

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