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Synthetic Bio Group Finalizes Code of Conduct

The International Association of Synthetic Biology announced that it has finalized its code of conduct for gene synthesis, covering ethics, biosafety, and biosecurity aspects of gene synthesis.

The code of conduct put forth by the European group follows the establishment last week of an international consortium focused on developing best practices for biosecurity protocols. That group — called the International Gene Synthesis Consortium — includes Blue Heron Biotechnology, DNA2.0, GeneArt, GenScript and Integrated DNA Technologies, and said that it will work with governments and other interested parties to support efforts to keep gene synthesis technologies from being misused.

The IASB today said that one focus of the code of conduct was screening of DNA sequences. The group said that the code mandates that for all orders of synthetic genes, vendors must determine whether a sequence is associated with a pathogenic organism.

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