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History of firsts

Pioneering advances in synthetic biology

Backed by a legacy of firsts*

Telesis Bio’s team of innovators, led by Dr. Dan Gibson, has been instrumental in pioneering several firsts in this field – producing over 6,000+ citations and 300+ patents to date.

Telesis Bio continues to build on our history of innovation, recently announcing a new generation of enzymatic DNA synthesis known as SOLA (short oligonucleotide ligation assembly), which will be integrated into our next generation Oligo Printer and Digital to Biological Converter instruments.

Learn More About SOLA

History of firsts
Milestone

First Genome Synthesized

Complete Chemical Synthesis, Assembly, and Cloning of a Mycoplasma genitalium Genome

Milestone

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Breakthrough
The first-ever complete genome built from scratch by scientists

How it was done
Synthesized and assembled all 582,970 bases of the Mycoplasma genitalium bacterium

Why it matters
This accomplishment validated the approach of using small fragments (5-7 kb), stitching them together into larger pieces, and cloning into vectors to create a fully assembled genome

Milestone

Creation of the Gibson Assembly® Method

Enzymatic assembly of DNA molecules up to several hundred kilobases

Milestone

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Breakthrough
A revolutionary and elegant method for DNA assembly of genes, pathways, or genomes

How it was done
Developed a new isothermal method for assembling many overlapping DNA molecules in a single reaction using a 5’ exonuclease with a DNA ligase and polymerase

Why it matters
The technique quickly replaced tedious restriction enzyme cloning and enabled scientists to assemble synthetic DNA into molecules hundreds of kilobases long

Milestone

First Synthetic Life

Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome

Milestone

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Breakthrough
The first-ever cell controlled by a fully synthetic, transplanted genome

How it was done
Synthesized and assembled the 1.08 megabase genome of Mycoplasma mycoides and transplanted it into a Mycoplasma capricolum cell

Why it matters
When the M. capricolum cell replicated, daughter cells carried only the M. mycoides DNA, demonstrating the successful conclusion of the first initiative to synthesize a living organism

Milestone

First Synthetic Flu Vaccine

Synthetic Generation of Influenza Vaccine Viruses for Rapid Response to Pandemics

Milestone

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Breakthrough
The first flu vaccine based on synthetic DNA designed from a viral genome

How it was done
Viral coat proteins were synthesized based on their genome sequence and shared with collaborators at Novartis to use in the development of a flu vaccine

Why it matters
This project showed that flu vaccine candidates could be developed in days by relying on genome sequence and synthetic DNA instead of waiting for viral samples; it also led to flu vaccines that were included in the nation’s pandemic preparedness stockpile

Milestone

First minimal genome

Design and Synthesis of a Minimal Bacterial Genome

Milestone

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Breakthrough
The first minimal genome, representing only genes strictly necessary for life

How it was done
Starting with synthetic Mycoplasma mycoides genome, repeated design-test-build cycles were run to assess the biological need for every gene, and then reduced the synthetic genome to just the 473 genes needed for survival

Why it matters
This work significantly advanced understanding of genome biology and paved the way for future development of synthetic genomes

Milestone

First α/β launch of DNA printer

Digital-to-biological Converter for On-demand Production of Biologics

Milestone

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Breakthrough
The first commercially available, automated benchtop system for DNA synthesis

How it was done
Engineers took the tedious manual steps used for genome synthesis and automated them, designing an instrument that could assemble, synthesize, and clone DNA

Why it matters
The BioXp™ platform dramatically shortens the time to synthesize DNA or mRNA, allowing scientists around the world to accelerate their workflows and get answers faster

Milestone

First synthetic SARS-CoV-2 genome

Telesis Bio Announces 8 New Products to Support the Scientific Community’s Battle Against COVID-19

Milestone

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Breakthrough
The first-ever completely synthetic genome of the novel SARS-CoV-2 pathogen

How it was done
Synthesized and assembled the ~30 kb coronavirus genome in early 2020

Why it matters
This critical resource, which was followed by the release of more than a dozen other SARS-CoV-2 genomes by Telesis Bio, allowed scientists to conduct research for the development of vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics without needing precious viral samples or stringent biosecurity control measures required for a live pathogen

More innovations coming soon

* Milestones attributed to us and/or our employees, prior to and during employment with us

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