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What does it take to build a cell?

Massive collaboration should enable impossible innovations. While iGEM teams benefit from open “giving and getting” of BioBrick parts, entire projects rarely get reused. What if we all worked together to create entirely novel organisms? Meet “Build-A-Cell” and “BioNet”! “Build-A-Cell” is a framework enabling everyone to contribute functional modules to novel organisms. “BioNet” is a peer-to-peer network enabling asynchronous exchange of functional biomaterials. More specifically, we developed an “expression guide” for heterologous genes, a “compatibility checker” for determining if heterologous genes should function in novel contexts, and a new standard supporting reliable expression of many gene operons, “BioBricks Beta” (BBb). With these emerging tools in hand we ask the iGEM community to consider working together and bring many more new things to life!