Canadian startup Synbiota Inc., has launched its revolutionary web based collaborative biotech development platform, bringing increased security, transparency, and efficiency to life science research. Built on cutting edge web technologies and embracing open source, Synbiota hopes to radically accelerate life science research by providing both open science, and secure research tools.
A key insight from Synbiota is that DNA, the molecule which encodes all genetic information, can be treated like software. Synbiota’s GENtle2 is an open source HTML5 app that allows researchers to manipulate real DNA, similar to how developers manipulate software code. “GENtle2 could be for open science what Wikipedia is to open knowledge,” says Magnus Manske, original creator of the Wikimedia software that powers Wikipedia, and Biochemist at the Sanger Institute.
Scientific research is far more than just editing genetic sequences. By combining secure cloud-based data storage with project and team management, as well as progress metrics, the Synbiota platform simplifies and accelerates the scientific development process used by many types of researchers.
“Using Synbiota is a huge advantage over traditional life science methods,” says Connor Dickie, Synbiota CEO., and ex MIT Media Lab researcher. “Our free platform is a great solution for DIYBio and academic labs, as well as competitions like iGEM, yet we’re sophisticated enough for high-value secure research thanks to our close relationship with Mozilla Labs.”
“The Mozilla connection gives me peace of mind with trusting Synbiota with my data, and enables collaborations that are as open or secure as I want them to be,” said Rob Carlson, Principal at Biodesic, and advisor to corporations and governments around the world. “The ability to securely store and share documents, data, comments, designs, procedures and methods, makes Synbiota’s tools perfect for my own work and for collaborations of any size.”
A current collaboration on Synbiota is working towards the creation of an open source bio sensor that can detect the presence of sarin nerve gas. “Research teams on Synbiota can advance projects much faster than before,” says Dr. Justin Pahara, Cambridge University Biotech PhD, and Synbiota COO. “I don’t know of another platform where this type of serious open research could take place at such an accelerated pace.”
Recent investment from Montreal-based Real Ventures and the Haliburton County Development Corporation has enabled Synbiota to scale up capacity and serve a global user base. “Justin and Connor are a formidable duo with incredible vision,” says Alan MacIntosh, investor and Partner at Real Ventures. “We think Synbiota will have a positive impact on the creation of new medicines, sustainable food, biofuels, and more.
Synbiota Inc. was founded in April 2013 with the mission to streamline life science R&D and to make it universally accessible. Synbiota is a Fellow of Mozilla Labs’ WebFWD, winner of Hacking Health’s Most Transformative Technology award, recipient of multiple FedDev STEM grants, and creator of the ‘S PRIZE’ global biotech contest. Synbiota Inc. has offices at the Digital Media Zone (DMZ) at Ryerson University in Toronto, and Maison Notman in Montreal.