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SnapGene-Sponsored iGEM Teams Distinguish Themselves at International Competition

UOttawa and Clemson Win Gold and Silver Medals, and Cornell wins Gold Medal and Best Human Practices
Chicago, IL – December 6

GSL Biotech announced today that all three of the iGEM teams the company sponsored advanced to the International Competition, distinguishing themselves with innovative research and awards. Cornell, UOttawa, and Clemson iGEM 2013 teams contacted GSL Biotech several months before the competition, requesting sponsorship in the form of free access to the company’s flagship product, SnapGene. More than two hundred teams worldwide compete every year in iGEM, a leading undergraduate Synthetic Biology competition that began at MIT.

The Cornell team built a toolkit of genetic parts for fungal genetic engineering that can be used by a number of industries to foster biomaterials development, efficient biosynthesis, natural bioremediation, and other biotechnological applications of complex fungi. The team won a gold medal and Best Human Practices at both the regional and international competitions. Swati Sureka, Team Leader of Cornell iGEM said, “SnapGene proved to be an indispensable tool for building plasmid maps of our various recombinant constructs to aid with the cloning process.”

The University of Ottawa team engineered the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to create molecular sensors that respond to “fold-changes” rather than absolute changes, thereby expanding the dynamic range of the sensors. They obtained a gold medal at the North American Regional competition in Toronto, and advanced to the World Championship at MIT as one of the top 15 North American teams. Wilson Lam, President of the UOttawa team said, “SnapGene gave the uOttawa iGEM Team the power to actively build, utilize, and analyze large DNA sequences. SnapGene was an absolutely essential tool to the success of the 2013 uOttawa iGEM Team.”

The Clemson team developed improved biosensors that use a universal signal amplification bacterial system to detect several foodborne pathogens reliably and inexpensively. They obtained a silver medal medal at the North American Regional and advanced to the International Competition. Matthew Bickford, a Clemson team member said, “SnapGene was an excellent resource in visually displaying our constructs for the iGEM competitions. We used the software to plan as well as present our plasmids, even using it on our poster and presentation. BioBricks are the building blocks used in the iGEM competition and SnapGene worked seamlessly with these parts, allowing us to ligate structures with ease. The user-friendly interface allowed for easy manipulation and greatly increased productivity in our modeling. Similar programs can be daunting to use, but SnapGene is easy to learn while holding a wealth of features.”

Aline Glick, VP of Product Management at GSL Biotech remarked, “We are immensely proud of these iGEM teams. Their drive, talent, and accomplishments are inspirational. We are thrilled to have been able to support their work through free access to SnapGene, and will continue to support their 2014 teams, as well as any other iGEM 2014 teams that request our help.”

About GSL Biotech

GSL Biotech was founded by scientists and software designers to meet the everyday needs of molecular biologists. GSL’s SnapGene software ( provides a simple yet powerful way for researchers to plan, visualize, document, and share their everyday molecular biology procedures. Free trials of the software are available from the SnapGene website.

In addition to the fully functional paid product, GSL Biotech offers the free SnapGene Viewer, which includes the key visualization tools of SnapGene, and allows researchers to make DNA maps and design primers. The annotated sequence files can be shared with colleagues or customers.

iGEM 2014 teams interested in receiving sponsorship from GSL Biotech in the form of free access to SnapGene should contact the company.

Contact Information

GSL Biotech
Aline Glick
Vice President of Product Management
GSL Biotech
Tel: 773.966.4599