Saluting Innovation @ Autodesk

Saluting Innovation at Autodesk for enabling synthetic biology with digital tools to fight cancer one DNA strand at a time.  The US-based multinational company that makes software for architecture, engineering, construction and other industries has a project underway that will synthesize viruses that only attack cells carrying specific genetic markers. Scientists have learned how to translate the four letters of the genetic alphabet - A (adenine), C (cytosine), G (guanine), and T (thymine) - into the ones and zeros of binary code. Synthetic biology is the reverse process. Today, dozens of DNA print shops can turn digital designs into biology and biohackers are engineering bacterial cells that selectively target and invade cancer cells before they release toxic enzymes. Founder of Autodesk, Andrew Hessel, was inspired to explore synthetic biology the second he found out an inkjet printer could print short segments of DNA by replacing ink with a certain chemical.  This led him to the create the CADnano, used to design 3D DNA origami nano structures. We salute Autodesk for being at the forefront of the synthetic biology revolution that will drive economic growth and societal change.