Strengths and limitations of the federal guidance on synthetic DNA

Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.
Nature Biotechnology (Impact Factor: 41.51). 03/2011; 29(3):208-10. DOI: 10.1038/nbt.1802
Source: PubMed
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    • "A homology search (BLAST) against virulence factors (Chen et al., 2012) assigns risk score to modules, then alerts the user of significant overlap with potentially dangerous sequences. GenoGUARD is another open-source software tool that warns against the use of potential bioterrorism-enabling DNA agents (Adam et al., 2011; " GenoGUARD, " last accessed October 22, 2012, It uses the " best match " screening protocol method recommended by the guidelines of the US Department of Health and Human Services ( " Screening Framework Guidance for Providers of Synthetic Double-Stranded DNA, " November 19, 2010, available at "
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    • "To overcome the limitations of the Guidelines, Virginia Bioinformatics Institute has developed software in open source format called GenoTHREAT. The software is based on the best match screening protocol recommended by the Federal Government to minimise the risk (Adam et al. 2011). As suggested by the SYNBIOSAFE, researchers can contribute towards regulation of synthetic biology by developing safe systems and ensuring judicious use of the synthetic biology applications for the benefit of mankind. "
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