Versioning biological cells for trustworthy cell engineering

New article "Versioning biological cells for trustworthy cell engineering" published in the journal Nature Communications. Congratulations to our MIX-UP partners and their colleagues Jonathan Tellechea-Luzardo, Leanne Hobbs, Elena Velázquez, Lenka Pelechova, Simon Woods, Víctor de Lorenzo and Natalio Krasnogor to these great results!

“Full-stack” biotechnology platforms for cell line (re)programming are on the horizon, thanks mostly to (a) advances in gene synthesis and editing techniques as well as (b) the growing integration of life science research with informatics, the internet of things and automation. These emerging platforms will accelerate the production and consumption of biological products. Hence, traceability, transparency, and—ultimately—trustworthiness is required from cradle to grave for engineered cell lines and their engineering processes. Here we report a cloud-based version control system for biotechnology that (a) keeps track and organizes the digital data produced during cell engineering and (b) molecularly links that data to the associated living samples. Barcoding protocols, based on standard genetic engineering methods, to molecularly link to the cloud-based version control system six species, including gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria as well as eukaryote cells, are shown. We argue that version control for cell engineering marks a significant step toward more open, reproducible, easier to trace and share, and more trustworthy engineering biology.

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