NSF grant aids synthetic biology software

Virginia Tech has begun a scale-up of its GenoCAD synthetic biology software, used in designing genetic constructs. The effort stems from a $1.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation, thanks to stimulus package funding.

The grant was awarded to Jean Peccoud, associate professor at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute. Peccoud says he believes that GenoCAD could be used as an "alternative to the more traditional sequence editing tools embedded in software suites like Life Technologies' Vector NTI or DNAStar's Laser Gene," according to BioInform.

Peccoud also says he would like to be able to release new versions of GenoCAD on a quarterly basis. He is currently organizing the first meeting for an advisory board that includes representatives from the University of California, Berkeley; Davidson College; Brandeis University; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and industrial representatives from Intel and synthetic biology firm DNA2.0.

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