This year (2013) iGEM Headquarters is making some major changes to the Registry. Here are some of the changes you should expect:
- We are going to dramatically prune the collection of parts so that the excellent parts are
not lost among the weeds. As a community collection, the Registry contains every part entered by anyone. This includes parts with no sequence, no description, and even parts with a description such as ''Delete me''. Many of the parts are old, poorly documented, and unused; these are the weeds. However, many parts have excellent documentation, proper sequences and matching DNA samples. Many of them are valuable and have been used by many teams; these are the roses.
We are going to "Discontinue" thousands of parts.
- iGEMers have sent us ''samples'' that contain ''parts''. In the past, we took a passive approach to quality control. We sent out a distribution
and filled part requests without concern for the quality of the sample. In the case of the distribution, we sequenced each sample and
tested the plasmid backbone by cutting and running on a gel as well as testing growth in several antibiotics. We published this quality information in the Registry but left it to the iGEMer to evaluate the QC information themselves.
This year's distribution will consist of parts that are sequence verified. We will eliminate samples that are incorrect and do more thorough curation of all the samples.
- For a couple years, we have been requiring samples to be sent to us in pSB1C3 but have sent old samples in whatever plasmid backbone we had. This year, we are following our own requirements and are transfering parts into pSB1C3.
- We are changing the way we think about the status of a part and a sample. The term ''Available'' was always misleading. Was the part released by the team (was its documentation and measurement complete?), was a sample of the the DNA available, was it correct? We used the fact that a team sent a part to indicate that it was an important part and should be included in tables and widely considered.
- We are introducing the concept of ''Releasing a Part''. This means that the author of the part says it is ready and important. Separately, we are introducing the concept of the status of a sample. Is it in a distribution, can you order it, or not. Perhaps it is of questionable quality or is unsequenced. Along with this, we are introducing a new sample analysis page with better information about the sample.
- We are upgrading the web site. The new site will be more modern and easier to use. We will improve the search capability and introduce a new category browser to make it easier to find the part you want.
- Teams are now using a great variety of assembly systems and software tools. We are changing the Registry to support external tools more easily and to accept different assembly systems more easily.
The first of these changes will be ready when the DNA distributions ship. Many other changes will take place throughout the year. We hope you like the new Registry. -- Randy
The Registry is a continuously growing collection of genetic parts that can be mixed and matched to build synthetic biology devices and systems. Founded in 2003 at MIT, the Registry is part of the Synthetic Biology community's efforts to make biology easier to engineer. It provides a resource of available genetic parts to iGEM teams and academic labs. You can register a new lab here.
The Registry is based on the principle of "get some, give some". Registry users benefit from using the parts and information available from the Registry in designing their engineered biological systems. In exchange, the expectation is that Registry users will, in turn, contribute back information and data on existing parts and new parts that they make to grow and improve this community resource.
- The BioBricks Foundation
- BioBrick Assembly Kit and online step-by-step assembly manual.