New Software Expands Availability of Synthetic Biological Parts

Achievement date: 

The Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) has created new software--the Inventory of Composable Elements (JBEI-ICE )--that makes a wide variety of essential information readily available to the synthetic biology design community for the first time. Principal investigators on the effort were researchers from the NSF-funded Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (SynBERC), headquartered at the University of California at Berkeley.


SynBERC has been actively engaged in developing a robust “Web of Registries” to make parts and tools available for the design community. JBEI-ICE is an information repository of quality parts for designers to use to engineer biological systems. Its creation meets an important aim of an NSF Cyber infrastructure supplement to develop a distributed software platform that helps accelerate the sharing of composable biological elements (genes, plasmids, etc.) across the synthetic biology research community.


Active parts registries are a vital prerequisite to achieving a critical mass of infrastructure, contributions, and quality components for the design community in this important emerging field. JBEI-ICE’s utility lies in several features: open source software; it is independent of installation; it handles legacy parts that do not conform to a particular standard as well as having a high degree of interoperability with other software; development tools and third-party libraries used by ICE are carefully chosen for their open source licenses and permissive redistribution terms; and the development process is open to participation by the community.

JBEI is a scientific partnership led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which includes Sandia National Laboratories, the University of California campuses of Berkeley and Davis, the Carnegie Institution for Science, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.