IBBIS launches the Common Mechanism at SynBioBeta
San José, CA – On May 8 2024, the International Biosecurity and Biosafety Initiative for Science (IBBIS) announced the launch of the Common Mechanism, an open-source, globally available tool for DNA synthesis screening.

Tessa Alexanian made the announcement on the main stage of SynBioBeta. This conference continues to be a unique nexus where the entire spectrum of synthetic biology is represented – from iGEM team members, to fledgling start-ups, to large companies that underpin the bioeconomy.

A key highlight of this year’s event was the emphasis on responsible innovation. “Scientists aren’t just thinking about whether or not they can; they’re also thinking about whether they should,” Tessa Alexanian noted, reflecting the community’s commitment to ethical considerations in synthetic biology.

When IBBIS spoke at SynBioBeta last year, sharing ambitious plans for developing tools and norms to safeguard biotechnology, the organization was still incubating under the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI). One year later, IBBIS has launched as an independent entity and has now launched its first open-source biosecurity tool: the Common Mechanism.

Developed in collaboration with Dr. Nicole Wheeler at the University of Birmingham, the Common Mechanism is a software designed for screening DNA synthesis orders. It allows users to comply with new DNA synthesis screening requirements while maintaining control and privacy over their orders through local-first screening. The tool has already been tested on real customer orders, synthetic biology parts from the iGEM competition, and the recently announced screening test set.

The launch of the Common Mechanism is just the beginning of IBBIS’s work to make DNA and RNA synthesis screening accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world.

The current release is a significant milestone, and users can get started with it today. IBBIS is eager to hear from the community about how to improve and expand the tool to meet user needs.

Safeguard Your Synthesis with the Common Mechanism