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Full article title Next steps for access to safe, secure DNA synthesis
Journal Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Author(s) Diggans, James; Leproust, Emily
Author affiliation(s) Twist Bioscience Corporation
Primary contact Email: jdiggans at twistbioscience dot com
Editors Morse, Stephen Allen
Year published 2019
Volume and issue 7
Page(s) 86
DOI 10.3389/fbioe.2019.00086
ISSN 2296-4185
Distribution license Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Website https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fbioe.2019.00086/full
Download https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fbioe.2019.00086/pdf (PDF)

Abstract

The DNA synthesis industry has, since the invention of gene-length synthesis, worked proactively to ensure synthesis is carried out securely and safely. Informed by guidance from the U.S. government, several of these companies have collaborated over the last decade to produce a set of best practices for customer and sequence screening prior to manufacture. Taken together, these practices ensure that synthetic DNA is used to advance research that is designed and intended for public benefit. With increasing scale in the industry and expanding capability in the synthetic biology toolset, it is worth revisiting current practices to evaluate additional measures to ensure the continued safety and wide availability of DNA synthesis. Here we encourage specific steps, in part derived from successes in the cybersecurity community, that can ensure synthesis screening systems stay well ahead of emerging challenges, to continue to enable responsible research advances. Gene synthesis companies, science and technology funders, policymakers, and the scientific community as a whole have a shared duty to continue to minimize risk and maximize the safety and security of DNA synthesis to further power world-changing developments in advanced biological manufacturing, agriculture, drug development, healthcare, and energy.

Keywords: biosecurity, synthetic biology, DNA, cyberbiosecurity, policy

Acknowledgements

Author contributions

All authors listed have made a substantial, direct and intellectual contribution to the work, and approved it for publication.

Funding

This work was funded by Twist Bioscience Corporation.

Conflict of interest statement

JD and EL are employed by Twist Bioscience. Twist Bioscience is a board member of the International Gene Synthesis Consortium (IGSC). The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the IGSC.

References

Notes

This presentation is faithful to the original, with only a few minor changes to presentation, grammar, and punctuation. In some cases important information was missing from the references, and that information was added. The original article listed references alphabetically; this version, by design, lists them in order of appearance.