Synthetic DNA manufacturing could enter a new era as Daniel Arlow, the first-time founder of the new startup Ansa Biotechnologies, brings a faster and more accurate process for making DNA

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"DNA read, write, and edit are the core pillars of synthetic biology," said Seth Bannon, the frontier investment firm Fifty Years' co-founder. 

"Currently the ability to write DNA is the main bottleneck in the synthetic biology industry," he added. 

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Bannon also explained that Ansa could help accelerate the whole synthetic biology industry by enabling longer, faster, and high-quality DNA synthesis with their fully enzymatic process. Using Ansa's innovation, companies can now have DNA made based on their specific requirements at an unmatchable speed and scale. 

Right now, a thirty-year-old chemical method is used to manufacture DNA molecules. However, this process has limitations on the length of molecules that can be created. In comparison, Ansa's biologically inspired DNA synthesis process can make long molecules without the risk of errors, which can lead to patching genetic material pieces together.  

What makes Ansa's new DNA manufacturing process different

Ansa Biotechnologies created an enzyme that adds bases to a DNA molecule. The company could unblock DNA and then allow another base to be attached using cut and paste function.

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Currently, Ansa is also offering synthesis as a service rather than just selling bioprinters, that enables any researcher or scientists to manufacture their own synthetic DNA. 

Arlow said that the reason why they're developing their business as a DNA synthesis service is to oppose printer making. He explained that the service allows the company to properly examine the synthetic DNA orders for biosecurity before manufacturing them. 

The researcher added that other companies such as Nuclera (a Cambridge, UK-based company) and DNA Script (a France-based company) are directly selling bioprinters to research labs.  

Right now, Arlow's company hasn't shipped any of their DNA products yet. However, it will soon be taking orders to start competing in the market. He added that the faster they can "crank" out the DNA, the better for his company. Arlow explained that Ansa is bad at engineering biology because it spends an extended period building a new design. Once they can make more models, the better Ansa will identify what process works and doesn't work, said Arlow.  

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Written by: Giuliano de Leon.

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