Essential Social Media Tools


Many scientists think that they don’t have the time to develop a presence in social media. Like many people in other trades, scientists are busy and cannot spend half of their day on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media. Many tools are available that make it possible to automate many of the activities associated with […]

I Hate Science (not really)

“People who have dedicated their lives to science.  People who made a decision when they were about 16 years old to focus on science, who went through four years of undergrad and an average 6 years of graduate school, and 4-10 more years of training.  People who’ve spent every moment since 2000 entirely dedicated to […]

Why design DNA?

I published a blog post entitled “Cloning forever” in which I show how biologists struggle with the notion of design applied to recombinant DNA. I hypothesize that most molecular biologists are still very focused on deriving new plasmids from existing ones using standard cloning techniques. Using a specific example, I explain the potential benefits of […]

Cloning forever

No design needed! Over the last six months, I spent considerable time and efforts trying to engage biologists in discussions about the design of expression vectors. My goal has been to better understand the design rules applicable in different domains and so that we can formalize them in GenoCAD. This effort has been an eye […]

Synthetic Biology Products and Applications

The Synthetic Biology Project of the Wilson Center has just released a directory of Synthetic Biology Products and Applications. This is another great community resource that will make it easier for all stakeholders to get a better vision of existing and upcoming synthetic biology products. This is a great complement to the Synthetic Biology Map. Todd […]

Notes from Synbiobeta San Francisco 2014

Synbiobeta San Francisco 2014 is wrapping up this morning with a networking cruise in the bay that I won’t be able to join because I need to head to the airport in a few hours. This was the first time I could attend a Synbiobeta conference. The event has a very distinctive flavor to it. […]

5S Applied to an Academic Lab – an Old Dog Learns New Tricks

When I interviewed for my present position in the Peccoud lab at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, David Ball gave me a tour of the lab and I immediately noticed that every item on a bench or desk was outlined with yellow tape and labeled. Also, cupboards and drawers had labels denoting their contents. I knew that Dr. Peccoud, had […]

Using LIMS in an Academic Lab – Why and How?

All laboratories produce something, whether samples or spreadsheets. Ideally, every step in the process of making the product, including the origins of precursors and the physical or digital locations of the products, should be documented. I have worked in seven different academic labs, and they all dealt with this documentation in different ways and with […]

Synthetic Biology Blogs

I thought it might be useful to compile a list of Synthetic Biology blogs that can be used as alternative sources of information and perspectives complementing academic journals.  This list was prepared using contributions from Nathaniel Gore  and Devin Camenares. Do you know other SynBio blogs that should be added to the list? Use the comments below to suggest […]

DNAFactory: A Gene Synthesis Game

We present our very first video game!  Targeted toward middle- and high-school students, DNAFactory demonstrates the steps a Gene Synthesis factory or laboratory would go through to produce DNA molecules; specifically, when creating a DNA sample, the target sequence is subdivided into shorter DNA fragments called oligos, which can be synthesized using a chemical process. […]