Helping young researchers break free and innovate in synthetic biology

April 17, 2019

As an advocate for researchers in synthetic biology, Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) is once again partnering with the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Foundation to support young researchers and promote scientific progress.

IDT is sponsoring the iGEM competition 2019 as a platinum sponsor for the sixth consecutive year. In order to make DNA synthesis accessible to all, the company will also again provide every registered team with up to 20KB of its market leading gBlocks Gene Fragments and Alt-R CRISPR Genome Editing products—completely free. In addition, teams will also benefit from valuable technical support from IDT’s team of experts.

“IDT is very proud of our long-standing partnership with iGEM,” said Trey Martin, President of IDT, “We have been helping iGEM teams push the boundaries of synthetic biology for six years now, by providing our products and expert-level tech support for free to every team. This way the iGEM teams can focus on their ideas instead of managing costs—and get as much guidance and advice as they need—giving them the greatest chance of successfully building and testing new ideas.  Our continued aim is to partner with our customers to drive innovation.”

The iGEM Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization, founded with a mission to pioneer and advance the field of synthetic biology. From modest beginnings as an intersession course at MIT in 2003, the competition has grown to attract more than 6,000 participants across 340 teams and 40 countries. iGEM’s vision is to create a future where synthetic biologists no longer need to manipulate DNA.

Currently, labs exchange physical samples of parts for assembly, however iGEM’s aim is to work toward a future where information is exchanged instead of parts, enabling entire designs to be synthesized at once. Since 2014, IDT's offer of free DNA synthesis has enabled iGEM teams to innovate in this future, by synthesizing parts for projects so teams can focus more on design and less on assembly.

“iGEM’s focus this year is to step even closer to our vision—a world of synthesis where scientists and engineers will no longer need to manipulate DNA,” noted Randy Rettberg, co-founder and president of iGEM, “We have always known that it’s the information about a part that is really important to others. That's why, this year, we’re asking teams to document parts on a registry instead of submitting physical samples. IDT is a key partner for us in this mission,” he continued, “The free synthesis and support that the company offers is invaluable both to the teams, and to our vision of the future. We are excited to continue to partner with IDT as we ramp up our efforts—they really understand and get behind the needs of participants. Our partnership provides teams with the opportunity to break free and be really creative—which generates exactly the kind of ground-breaking synthetic biology research that iGEM is all about.”

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