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February 14, 2013

Synthesizing DNA 10,000 times cheaper and making a synthetic biology revolution

Problem: Synthetic biology has the potential to create new organisms that could do an infinite number of things. But the cost of synthesizing DNA is currently prohibitively expensive.

Solution: Austen has developed a new technique to synthesize DNA 10,000 times cheaper than existing technology.

1. DNA microarray
2. Microbeads capture DNA - separates the sequences
3. Beads copy the single strand many times
4. Attach beads to glass and read out the sequences for quality control and create a quality score
5. Use laser to recover the DNA (Laser pulse catapulting)
Print up to 100 strands per second


Technology: One of the big challenges with DNA synthesis is error correction during fabrication, fabricating the correct sequence of A, T, G and Cs. Austen solves this problem by fabricating billions of strands at once, quickly (and cheaply) optically sequencing them and then selecting the correct DNA sequences using a fast moving laser.

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