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SBOL: A community standard for communicating designs in synthetic biology

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posted on 2013-08-03, 00:06 authored by Michal GaldzickiMichal Galdzicki, Mandy L. Wilson, Cesar A. Rodriguez, Ernst Oberortner, Matthew Pocock, Laura Adam, J. Christopher Anderson, Bryan A. Bartley, Jacob Beal, Deepak Chandran, Joanna Chen, Douglas Densmore, Drew Endy, Raik Grünberg, Jennifer Hallinan, Nathan J. Hillson, Haiyao Huang, Jeffrey D. Johnson, Allan Kuchinsky, Matthew LuxMatthew Lux, Goksel Misirli, Chris J. Myers, Jean PeccoudJean Peccoud, Hector A. Plahar, Nicholas Roehner, Evren Sirin, Guy-Bart Stan, Alan Villalobos, Anil WipatAnil Wipat, John H. Gennari, Herbert M. Sauro


The Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL) is a proposed data standard for exchanging designs within the synthetic biology community. SBOL represents synthetic biology designs in a community-adopted, formalized format for exchange between software tools, research groups, and commercial service providers. The re-use of previously validated designs is critical to the evolution of synthetic biology from a research discipline to an engineering practice. As a community-driven standard, SBOL adapts as synthetic biology evolves, providing specific capabilities for different aspects of the synthetic biology workflow. The SBOL Developers Group has implemented SBOL 1.1 as an XML/RDF serialization and provides software libraries and specification documentation to help developers implement SBOL in their own software. This paper also reports on early successes, including a demonstration of the utility of SBOL for information exchange between three different tools from three academic sites.