McKinsey Highlights Ginkgo in its Disruptive Technologies Report
The report writes: "If the process can be perfected, modifying organisms could become as simple as writing computer code. While the technology is new, there is already evidence for applications in science and business. For example, a research team at Ginkgo BioWorks in Boston is working on developing the biological equivalent of a high-level programming language with the goal of enabling large-scale production of synthetically engineered organisms."
January 12th 2013
Ginkgo's Factory of Life
Ginkgo was featured as the cover story in the January edition of Science News. The article discusses Ginkgo's 21st century factory of life: customers place an order and Ginkgo engineers will make an organism to do whatever you want. We're creating a technology infrastructure for engineering organisms to spec in the same way the infrastructure for semiconductor design and manufacturing was developed in the 1960s and '70s.
December 7th 2012
Ginkgo BioWorks announces key patent in Electrofuels space and collaboration with Det Norske Veritas
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a Notice of Allowance for U.S. Patent Application Number 13/285,919 entitled “Methods and Systems for Chemoautotrophic Production of Organic Compounds.” This is the first patent approved in the Electrofuels space and represents a significant milestone delivered under Ginkgo’s $6.6M ARPA-E contract begun in 2010. Ginkgo has also validated that our microbes can utilize a feedstock of electrolytically-derived formate produced by a demonstration-scale reactor developed by Det Norse Veritas (DNV).
Read the press releases and news coverage to learn more.
November 2nd 2012
Ginkgo BioWorks named top 150 company by Biofuels Digest
Biofuels digest selected Ginkgo as one of the top 150 companies in Bioenergy for 2012.
January 10th 2012
Ginkgo to expand operations to a new 11,565 SF facility in the Boston Innovation District
A world-class organism engineering pipeline that is growing fast needs a world-class facility and room to expand. With that in mind, Ginkgo is happy to announce we will be moving to an all new 11,565 SF facility in early March. We are delighted to be staying in the Boston Innovation district that has served us so well. We look forward to joining our life sciences neighbors including Cambrian Innovation, Novophage, and Dana Farber Cancer Institute in the Drydock Center.
With three times as much space, we are laying out a dedicated production facility separate from our R&D labs and the general hustle and bustle of Ginkgo. As we transition biological engineering from a handcraft to an industrial process, we believe infrastructure, operations, and process engineering are critical. Our new facility has the infrastructure we need and is laid out to support the operations of a next-generation organism engineering pipeline. And our view of Boston Harbor will be even better!
October 20st 2011
Ginkgo BioWorks joins the Wyss Institute at Harvard University in $3.7M contract to develop a Genetic Security System for DARPA
The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University announced today that it has been awarded a $3.7 million contract (including option) from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a genetic security system that would track an organism's history.
The proposed DNA-based memory device would sit inside a bacterium and create a permanent record of its historical experiences in much the same way as the "Track Changes" feature of word-processing software records successive edits in an electronic document. Such a bacterial background check would be analogous to biological forensic tools, such as fingerprint analysis, DNA testing, and blood typing.
The DARPA project will be led by Wyss Institute core faculty member Pamela Silver, who is a professor of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School and the first Director of Harvard's Program in Systems Biology. Co-Principal Investigators will be James Collins, also a Wyss Institute core faculty member as well as professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University, and Jason Kelly, a founder and Principal Scientist at the Boston-based startup Ginkgo Bioworks.
The project team is charged with overseeing development of a bacterial memory system that actively reports on and tracks the history and status of an organism, providing information on its specific experiences, such as exposure to an antibiotic. This type of tracking system could protect commodity biomanufacturing by tracking the theft of proprietary bacterial strains that have been metabolically engineered to produce high-value products, such as biofuels or chemicals. It could also enhance the security of bacteria that are being studied in laboratory settings and discourage the misuse of dangerous biological pathogens.
The device would need to be robust enough to function in the field, while also maintaining accurate historical records in the face of a wide range of environmental stresses, including the death of the bacterium that it is charged with tracking. "This would be one of the first DNA-based memory systems to accurately track bacteria and it represents just the kind of challenging -- and potentially game-changing -- work that we do best here at the Wyss Institute," said Wyss Institute Founding Director Donald Ingber, MD, Ph.D. "We are happy to collaborate with DARPA in creating a new way to help ensure that bacterial strains created for science and industry are not misused in ways that could harm people or endanger our access to important products."
Ginkgo BioWorks successfully completes milestone-based $4.1M contract for ITI Life Sciences.
Ginkgo BioWorks announced the on-time completion and approval of all
technical milestones in our 18 month contract with ITI Life Sciences.
Ginkgo conducted this work in partnership with the lab of Will Shu at
Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. Ginkgo developed a new
biochemical process for the in vitro assembly of many fragments of DNA
in a "one-pot" chemical reaction.
Ginkgo BioWorks awarded $6.6M from DOE to engineer new "Electrofuels" organism that converts electricity into liquid fuels
The central challenge in renewable fuels is finding a feedstock that
is cost-competitive with oil. Sugar from corn, sugar cane, and other
food crops is too expensive and competes with food markets. Algae has
repeatedly failed to gain traction due to challenges with
photobioreactors and low yields. All these approaches are plagued by
the ineffeciency of photosynthesis in capturing the energy of
sunlight. Electrofuels removes this reliance on photosynthesis by
using electricity as the energy source.
Ginkgo BioWorks has teamed up with Jay Keasling from the University of
Berkeley and Mary Lidstrom and David Baker from the University of
Washington to complete the $6.6M DOE ARPA-E contract. The team will
develop an organism for the production of fuels using only CO2 and
electricity as feedstocks. Solar panels are more efficient than
photosynthesis at capturing sunlight and are
Vinod Khosla recently commented on Electrofuels saying
efforts are extremely early, and may yield something
ground-breaking." Ginkgo expects to begin scale-up of
these organisms beyond the bench by the end of 2012.
Ginkgo BioWorks Tapped for $4.1M Synthetic DNA Effort
Reprinted from Xconomy.
Boston-based synthetic biology startup Ginkgo BioWorks has been selected as one of two entities to support a Scottish initiative to find better ways to assemble synthetic DNA, according to ITI Life Sciences, which has committed $4.1 million to the effort. ITI Life Sciences is a unit of ITI Scotland, a firm that was formed in 2003 by the government of Scotland to help grow industries in the country such as life sciences, energy, and digital media. Ginkgo BioWorks was launched in 2008 by five MIT scientists and researchers to make the construction of synthetic DNA easier and faster, according to its website.