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Launch of GenoCon: First-ever Contest in Rational Genome Design Based on Semantic-web Technology
Date:5/24/2010

bs on the RIKEN SciNeS system enable each lab owner (researcher) to easily create and publish databases without the need to maintain individual web servers. This information infrastructure can be beneficial for researchers in implementing international collaborative research. In addition, each virtual lab can also organize competitions or initiate open participatory research.

GenoCon is to be organized using one of the virtual labs on RIKEN SciNeS. Each contestant in GenoCon establishes a workspace (named “My Page”) in the virtual lab (named “GenoCon”). Virtual labs on RIKEN SciNeS are used as an integrated life science information infrastructure incorporating functions including a programming environment, a digital lab notes system, and information resources for biomass engineering research activities. By releasing some of these functions, GenoCon offers an environment for open-optimization research in which contestants can submit more optimal DNA sequence designs, potentially conferring to the plant Arabidopsis the target function assigned by the GenoCon organizers.

*3 Open Optimization Research

RIKEN SciNeS provides a new framework for collaboration called “Open Optimization Research” in which the process for optimizing an invention is carried out by numerous contestants/participants in an open manner, rather than by members of the closed group of inventors.

It is often the case that a DNA sequence is initially synthesized by researchers in order to verify a given idea in the easiest way possible. However, this initially-tested DNA sequence may not be optimal among the patented DNA sequences that are claimed to confer a desired function to a living organism.

Optimal design of DNA sequences requires that researchers conduct enough tests to find optimal examples among patented DNA sequences, which demands securing research financing. Designing optimal sequences also requires bioinforma
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