(Cambridge, Massachusetts) – October 1, 2007 – The BioBricks Foundation (BBF) announced today that it has received a donation from the Somekh Family Foundation to accelerate work in promoting and protecting the development, sharing, and reuse of BioBrick™ standard biological parts. BioBrick™ parts are open source, standardized snippets of DNA that encode basic biological functions which operate inside living cells, such as the turning ON or OFF of gene expression or different enzymatic functions.
The donation is part of a multi-year commitment by the Somekh Family to support the BBF’s development and dissemination of technical standards for the operation, characterization, and use of BioBrick™ standard biological parts, as well as legal strategies that enable the BioBrick™ parts collection to grow and remain freely available.
Drew Endy, President of the BioBricks Foundation, said, “The BBF is committed to the development of an open collection of BioBrick™ standard biological parts. We believe that the constructive and responsible development of future biological technologies will depend on an open approach that allows for the sharing and reuse of standardized genetic components. We are extraordinarily grateful for this early support from the Somekh Family.”
The BBF plans to use a portion of the grant to initiate a series of workshops on the technical and legal standards that define BioBrick™ parts. These workshops will be led by leaders in the fields of synthetic biology and law. The first workshop in this series will be held in Cambridge, Massachusetts on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on November 5-6, 2007. For information on this workshop: BioBricks Foundation Workshop
Talli Somekh, office of the Somekh Family Foundation, said, “The BioBricks Foundation is poised to not only open a new frontier in the biological sciences but to revolutionize the way scientists and engineers collaborate. We are honored to support the seminal work of the BBF and look forward to a world where knowledge and creativity in biology is an open process.”
ABOUT THE BIOBRICKS FOUNDATION:
The BioBricks Foundation (BBF) is a not-for-profit organization founded by engineers and scientists from MIT, Harvard, and UCSF with significant experience in both non-profit and commercial biotechnology research. BBF encourages the development and responsible use of technologies based on BioBrick™ parts — open source genetic components that can be used to program living cells. The BBF, headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A., is a tax- exempt 501(c)(3) U.S. corporation. More information can be found at http://www.biobricks.org.