10K Genes/What

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The Beginning

In June 2017 Twist Bioscience and the BioBricks Foundation announced a First-of-its-Kind partnership to provide 10,000 genes openly to the synthetic biology community[1]. Under the terms of the agreement, the BioBricks Foundation (BBF) will pay for synthesis of 10,000 genes from Twist Bioscience. The BBF will moderate a free and open online forum that allows researchers anywhere to suggest which genes should be built.

The aim is to enable a distributed community of people to collectively propose and prioritize 10,000 genes for ab initio DNA synthesis. Proposed genes will be checked for safety/security aspects, technical suitability, and potential third-party patent claims. Those genes will then be synthesized and be made available to the entire synthetic biology community under the Open Material Transfer Agreement (OpenMTA - see below).



Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) are legally enforceable contracts used by universities, companies, and research institutions to set the terms for transfer and use of biological materials. Most MTAs, including the widely used Uniform Biological Material Transfer Agreement (UBMTA), include restrictive terms that prevent you from sharing the materials with anyone outside your own laboratory or using the materials for commercial purposes.

The OpenMTA provides an option that lets you share materials more broadly by affirmatively giving permission for you to share materials outside your laboratory and use the material for commercial purposes. With broad adoption, the OpenMTA will support collaboration among researchers across institutional and international boundaries, promote access to materials for researchers in less privileged institutions and world regions, and provide an avenue for researchers and their institutions to be credited for materials made openly available.

Learn more by visiting OpenMTA.org.


Open DNA Foundry

10K MoClo


  1. Twist Bioscience (2017-04-15). "Twist Bioscience and the BioBricks Foundation Announce First-of-its-Kind Partnership to Provide 10,000 Public-Benefit Genes to the Synthetic Biology Community". Cision. [1]