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DNA2.0 Introduces Free Life Science Teaching Tools for Educators and Students

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DNA2.0 has introduced a suite of life science resources to help educators train the scientists of tomorrow. The cornerstone of this program is the company’s free gene sequence design application, Gene Designer.

Gene Designer is an ideal teaching tool that is enough to serve as a foundation for synthetic biology, systems biology, bioengineering and bioinformatics curricula, enabling students to design sequences de novo. However, this free application is simple enough to use that high school biology teachers can utilize it to help young biologists to better understand the structure and design of genes.

“Gene Designer is perfectly suited to teaching biology in the 21st century,” said Scott Hinton, Dean and Professor, College of Engineering at Utah State University. “As biology has become primarily an engineering science, our students need a powerful design application to harness the potential of DNA. Gene Designer has all the functionality that students require and a graphic interface that students can easily relate to. Because Gene Designer is free, any student or teacher in any part of the world can leverage this powerful learning tool.”

Gene Designer comes loaded with features to engage students, including a graphically-rich interface and a patented drag-and-drop functionality for putting together sequence elements. Gene Designer enables students the ability to capture the entire gene design process in one efficient application, using a range of design tools purposely built for the task, including:

-Intelligent, fast and easy-to-use algorithms for in-silico cloning, codon optimization, back translation and primer design

-Graphically-rich molecular view to display, annotate and edit constructs

-Customizable database to store, manage and track genetic elements, genes and constructs

-Cloning Tool which can cut, combine and clone any vector and insert with drag-and-drop convenience

“Gene Designer allows students to put their imaginations to work and guides them through every step, from inspiration to synthesized gene,” said Claes Gustafsson, Co-Founder and Vice President at DNA2.0. “DNA2.0 is committed to helping train the scientists of tomorrow, through the introduction of our suite of tools for educators and students and our continuing support of university and high school research projects.”

DNA2.0 will curate a collection of student projects that utilize Gene Designer on its company website. Submissions deemed well executed, compelling and creative have the opportunity to win recognition prizes and awards.

In addition to offering Gene Designer as a free tool for educators and students, DNA2.0 continues its support of budding scientists through its sponsorship of the University of Cambridge team competing in the annual International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition.

The Cambridge team was a finalist in the 2010 jamboree that concluded on Monday. Also part of DNA2.0’s suite for students and teachers is the Bioinformatics Toolbox, a collection of free resources for analyzing DNA and protein sequences that Genetic Engineering News called the “Best of the Web.”