GenScript to launch new platform to save up to a billion USD for worldwide research community
Piscataway, New Jersey (July 9, 2018) – GenScript, the world’s leading gene synthesis provider, is to test launch its new open-access plasmid platform, namely MolecularCloud™, today. The free platform aims to accelerate innovation in biology by promoting sharing of wisdom and supporting conversation among researchers.
"Today we reached an important milestone on our way to revolutionize how research is done," said Eric Wang, VP of Marketing at GenScript. The new platform originates from a popular service offered by GenScript since 2015, known as CloneArk™. This free service allows clients to archive clones from past orders at GenScript for future reuse. Three years into its launch, there are about one million clones in CloneArk™ system with deposits growing fast every day.
"There are many benefits to use CloneArk," explained Dr. Lihua Zhang, senior product manager in charge of MolecularCloud project at GenScript. "For example, a researcher may repeatedly need the same piece of sequence during his/her project. For a 1500 bp gene, the cost of de novo synthesis is about $525 while CloneArk™-based synthesis would only cost about $125; up to $300 saving per clone, not to mention the time saved in the process." According to Zhang, in 2018 requests for CloneArk-based synthesis will reach 45,000, indicating that GenScript will save as much as $13M in funding for the global research community.
Before 2017 technical support at GenScript manually designed the right cloning strategy by blasting against client’s CloneArk™ database for selected customers. With the increase in CloneArk™ usage, GenScript developed GenSmart™ Ordering System, the first AI-assisted ordering system to make sure everyone enjoys the savings. This ordering system automatically analyzes target sequences not only against previously-synthesized genes for the same client, but also in GenScript’s ORF clone collection to find the most time and cost efficient route for creating desired DNA constructs. In addition, GenSmart™ automatically detects and reports common errors in the design, including frame shifts, pre-mature stop codons or insert direction issues in most commercial vectors. "GenSmart™ will save over $150M for the global research community, if researchers adopt and use it correctly," claimed Dr. Zhang.
In 2018, the team took one step further to launch MolecularCloud™, which allows reuse of clones made by other scientists who have decided to share their constructs in this public platform. "We realized that there are still many scientists constructing clones in their lab although someone else had already published the same clone. This is not efficient. Obviously, CloneArk™ is not enough because it only provides access to reuse your own clones. So we decided to do something," said Wang. "We designed a free platform for the community to share plasmids, which are then searchable through GenSmart™ and can be reused conveniently by everyone."
Besides serving as a plasmid repository, MolecularCloud™ comes with everything featured by an internet platform. "For example, you can search, favorite and comment on any plasmid, making it a perfect platform to explore and exchange research ideas," explained Wang. "Our goal is to bring in the power of internet to support conversation and sharing of wisdom among researchers, because the more we bring great minds together, the faster innovation can happen."
Among the many benefits of MolecularCloud™, cost and time savings are the top attractions. According to the estimate of Dr. Zhang‘s team, this open platform would save up to a billion USD per year for labs all over the world. This is in addition to the significant savings in time and effort involved in searching and requesting plasmids through traditional ways. "Plasmid is one of the most important reagents in biology research," said Wang. "Many experiments in research begin with plasmids. They are not only nucleotides, but also carry design and wisdom with them. Our platform is going to give your plasmids the attention they deserve." With researchers across the globe depositing their plasmids into MolecularCloud™ with proper MTA, everyone can take full advantage of these plasmids and the hidden wisdom within them to advance science.
GenScript is a leading contract research organization providing gene, peptide, protein, CRISPR, and antibody reagents to scientists in over 100 countries worldwide. Since its foundation in 2002, GenScript has grown exponentially through partnerships with scientists conducting fundamental life science and translational biomedical research, as well as early stage pharmaceutical development. With a mission to improve the health of mankind and nature through biotechnology, the company has developed the best-in-class capacity and capability for producing biological reagents in order to Make Research Easy for all scientists. For more information, visit www.genscript.com.
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