The ability to write DNA efficiently is a key necessity for almost all applications in the life science industry. DNA synthesis enables the engineering of biological systems (enzymes, antibodies, bacteria, yeast, plants, cells, etc.) to create new applications, most notably in biotherapeutics, the production of chemicals and materials, agriculture or nanotechnology.
DNA Script is developing a novel enzymatic technology to synthesize DNA that will increase performance in strand length, purity, turnaround time and cost. This blog series reports key technological milestones — initially revealed at the GP-write Conference
in May 2018 — which demonstrate the potential of enzymatic synthesis, even at this early phase in the development of our technology. Chemical DNA synthesis reaches a plateau
Since the discovery of the structure of DNA in 1953, there has consistently been a strong demand from the scientific community to synthesize — or manufacture — this molecule: first for a better understanding of its mechanisms, then for bioengineering. Since the 1960s, chemical DNA synthesis has enabled tremendous progress in synthetic biology. While various DNA synthesis methods have been developed, early approaches were based on organic chemistry, as biochemical methods were not initially available.
In 1983, a major step forward for the chemical synthesis of DNA was achieved, with the introduction of phosphoramidite reagents. This technology allowed synthetic DNA to enter its industrial age; it is still in use today in every DNA provider's factory. Along with PCR (polymerase chain reaction, the method for "photocopying" DNA), the introduction of phosphoramidites in the 1980s completely reshaped the field of molecular biology.