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Computer-Assisted Design software for synthetic biology

Tutorial and training materials by OpenHelix

Learn to use GenoCAD, a Computer-Assisted Design application for synthetic biology projects, with this free tutorial provided by the Peccoud Lab at Virginia Tech. The GenoCAD website enables researchers to generate libraries of parts that can be used and re-used to generate unlimited designs supporting bench biologists in molecular biology construction efforts. Grammars that specify the order of elements provide a consistent yet flexible framework for creating construct designs. In this introductory tutorial, the foundations of the GenoCAD system are explored, and basic functionality of the software is demonstrated with hands-on tasks.

Note: The training set data required for this tutorial can be accessed at FigShare: GenoCAD Tutorials. Download the "Training_Set_EColi_With_Parts.genocad" file.

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You'll learn:

  • the basic aspects of the site usage with an orientation and overview
  • the organizational features of libraries and their component parts
  • to use a grammar to create customized designs of expression constructs
  • to run a simple simulation to investigate the behavior of synthetic systems


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This tutorial is a part of the tutorial group GenoCAD. You might find the other tutorials in the group interesting:

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Recent BioMed Central research articles citing this resource

Marchisio Andrea Mario et al., Modular, rule-based modeling for the design of eukaryotic synthetic gene circuits Synthetic biology. BMC Systems Biology (2013) doi:10.1186/1752-0509-7-42

Kahl J Linda et al., A survey of enabling technologies in synthetic biology. Journal of Biological Engineering (2013) doi:10.1186/1754-1611-7-13

Leguia Mariana et al., 2ab assembly: a methodology for automatable, high-throughput assembly of standard biological parts. Journal of Biological Engineering (2013) doi:10.1186/1754-1611-7-2

Chen Joanna et al., DeviceEditor visual biological CAD canvas. Journal of Biological Engineering (2012) doi:10.1186/1754-1611-6-1

More about the resource:

GenoCAD is developed and maintained by the Peccoud Lab team at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech. Support for this research and outreach has been provided by the National Science Foundation under grant EF-0850100.


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The materials and slides offered can not be resold or used for profit purposes. Reproduction, distribution and/or use is strictly limited to instructional purposes only and can not be used for for monetary gain or wide distribution.
Copyright 2009, OpenHelix, LLC.

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