New Way to Write DNA Could Turbocharge Synthetic Biology and Data Storage
October 4, 2018
(Science Magazine) – Scientists can read the DNA sequence faster than ever before. But their ability to write DNA hasn’t kept pace. Those wanting made-to-order DNA for purposes such as synthetic biology make do with short strands, synthesized in a slow and expensive chemical process. That appears ready to change. Today, researchers from a French biotechnology startup announced at a synthetic biology meeting in San Francisco, California, that by using close relatives of the DNA-writing enzymes in living things, they can build DNA strands as long as 150 “letters,” or nucleotide bases. That’s up from a record of 50 nucleotides just a few months ago, and nearly on par with the standard chemical approach.