Vanderbilt iGEM 2015

Every sequence of DNA hides a secret. Concealed throughout any genetic construct are mutation hotspots - DNA motifs prone to high rates of mutation. Once a mutation occurs at one of these sites, a mutant may rapidly overtake the population due to evolutionary selective pressure.

Our team has compiled decades of research into an algorithm that is able to eliminate these hotspots, reducing the risk of mutation for any gene without altering its function. We have also devised strategies for improving the evolutionary stability of entire genetic circuits, and have created new bacterial strains with their genomes engineered to better resist and repair mutations.

Our foundational advance has the potential to revolutionize the way synthetic biologists optimize their genes, by looking beyond simple codon adaptation to consider the stability, safety, and reliability of DNA parts.

Join us as we expose the menaces lurking in your DNA. . .