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Biosecurity Challenges in the Genome Engineering Space – Beth Vitalis


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A presentation by Beth Vitalis, Biosecurity Specialist at Inscripta, on "Biosecurity Challenges in the Genome Engineering Space."

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Biosecurity Challenges in the Genome Engineering Space – Beth Vitalis

  1. 1. Biosecurity Challenges in Genome Engineering Space Beth Vitalis, PhD Biosecurity Specialist Catalyst Biosecurity Summit Feb 22, 2019
  2. 2. 2 • Inscripta is committed to responsible, safe use of its digital genome engineering technology. • Genome engineering presents biosecurity challenges, some distinct from other areas of synthetic biology. • A call for a collaborative approach to address biosecurity challenges for genome engineering Key Points
  3. 3. 3 Inscripta’s technology and products enable digital genome engineering on an unprecedented scale
  4. 4. 4 Inscripta’s technology and products enable digital genome engineering on an unprecedented scale Effective solutions require: • Unprecedented SCALE • Superior PERFORMANCE • Greater ACCESS VarietyofEditTypes LowHigh Number of Genomic Locations 100 101 102 103 104 Number of Edits 105+ 104 103 102 101 100 Protein Engineering Site Directed Mutagenesis Pathway Engineering Expression Engineering Gene Knockout Gene Knock-in Genome-wide Base Editing Genome-wide Knockout Classical Mutagenesis Genome Engineering Genome Discovery
  5. 5. 5 Onyx™ Digital Genome Engineering Platform Inscripta Engineering Portal Generates up to 10k precisely engineered libraries of single cells at customer benchtop Design G enerate Test Learn Inscripta’s mission is to avail these tools to the public
  6. 6. 6 Inscripta is committed to safe use of its customer-empowering technology Biosecurity processes help prevent malicious or accidental production of potentially harmful organisms BIOSECURITY CONTROL WORKFLOW Genome and Edit library screening identifies potential biothreat before production Editing library kits produced in-house Up-front customer screening blocks known bad actors Customer designs edits in own lab on approved genome of choice Inherent controls prevent unauthorized use of MADzymeTM nucleases and OnyxTM platform Customer creates edits, carries out genotyping and phenotyping in own lab
  7. 7. 7 Genome engineering biosecurity considerations overlap and diverge with other synthetic biology technologies Features Shared  Customer Screening  Broad biothreat space  Reporting protocols Features Unique to Genome Engineering  Edits must be considered in the context of the genome and cell behavior o Regulatory sequence o Protein interactions  Scale issues for massively parallel genome editing o Multiple edits per cell will add complexity Collaboration is needed across Synthetic Biology AND amongst the Genome Engineering community to address Biosecurity challenges
  8. 8. 8 Genome engineering biosecurity must consider cellular context and enormous phenotypic diversity Each edit variant must be evaluated within cellular context for biothreat potential Libraries of cells with different edits expand diversity Edits can alter the function or expression of an individual protein, which in turn may have numerous cellular effects x =
  9. 9. 9 Community-based strategy to strengthen genome engineering biosecurity and minimize biorisk Define biosecurity ‘best practice’ standards for genome engineering Strategize to close resource gaps: research, DBs, test sets Instill societal confidence in genome engineering; protect the bioeconomy Recruit support from government, academia, industry Share ideas and resources Collectively address ‘challenges’ The unique challenges of biosecurity for genome engineering requires collaborative problem solving Let’s Work Together!
  10. 10. • Source here The POWER of Biology to POSITIVELY Impact the World is PROFOUND Materials Human Health Natural Products Pharmaceuticals Buildings Food EnergyClimate And Must Be Respected & Protected
  11. 11. Thank you! Elizabeth (Beth) Vitalis
  12. 12. 12 Discussion Question What concerns do YOU have about large-scale genome engineering? How might we strategize addressing these concerns?