Benchtalk Volume 3: Applying Breakthrough Technologies in Life Science

BY Roger Pellegrini
February 3, 2020

Welcome to Benchtalk, a journal produced by Benchling. At Benchling, our mission is to accelerate life sciences for the benefit of humanity. As part of that mission, Benchling strives to engage the life sciences community in meaningful discussion and cross-discipline dialogue about the extraordinary goals of the field so that, together, we can work toward a better future. The quarterly Benchtalk Journal showcases the groundbreaking work of brilliant life scientists from academia to industry, facilitates discourse among members of the life sciences community, and connects them to revolutionary ideas.

This season, Benchtalk is all about the impact that breakthrough technologies – from biological techniques, to software, to hardware – are having on life science, and how leading R&D organizations incorporate new tools into their work. In this volume, we showcase the thoughts of leading researchers and software experts (including some of our own) on how these breakthroughs are changing the nature of life science, especially as technological advancement accelerates.

Benchtalk features four categories of content:

  • Spotlight showcases the lives and stories of life sciences community members, from scientists, to labs, to companies.
  • Research includes articles written by Benchling users about their own exciting projects.
  • Biotech features pieces about the state of the life sciences industry and how it will change the world as we know it.
  • And last but not least, Benchling features announcements and updates about all things Benchling.

We post pieces of content to Benchtalk on a weekly basis and publish full volumes of Benchtalk on a quarterly basis, both in digital and print formats.

If you or someone you know is interested in being featured in Benchtalk, please email [email protected]

The Jennifer Doudna Lab Knocks CRISPR Out of the Park
Lily Helfrich

Jennifer Doudna is a world-renowned biochemist at the University of California, Berkeley, best known for her foundational research on CRISPR. Her lab is setting the course for another decade of biological innovation. In this video, meet the Doudna Lab and their softball team, the JD Knockouts, and hear their hopes for the future of CRISPR.


Powering Synthetic Biology Projects with iGEM
Lily Helfrich

In support of our goals to accelerate innovative research and to empower scientists, Benchling partnered with the iGEM Foundation for their 2019 season. The iGEM Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that is committed to advancing synthetic biology through education, competition, collaboration, and community. We had the opportunity to talk with five iGEM teams across the United States, the United Kingdom, and China about their projects and motivations.


Ross Wilson: A Voice for Meaningful CRISPR Innovation and Access to Therapeutic Genome Editing
Lily Helfrich

Dr. Ross Wilson’s work is motivated by a goal to ensure that CRISPR’s transformative potential will be accessible to patients with genetic diseases worldwide. Learn how he and his lab are working to develop targeted genome editing therapeutics that are not only safe and effective, but can also be efficiently manufactured and easily administered.


Experimenting Outside the Models — Non-Model Organisms, the Broad Host Range Solution, and Benchling
Ryan Bailey and Dr. Dennis Mishler, UT Austin

UT Austin’s 2018 iGEM team sought to address the problem of genetic part incompatibility in non-model organisms. E. coli is the go-to chassis for many synthetic biologists. While this focus on a single organism (or a small subset of organisms) makes it much easier to conduct research, it also makes it much trickier to work with non-model organisms.


Will the 2020s Be the Decade of Life Science?
Sajith Wickramasekara, Co-Founder & CEO @ Benchling

In the 2010s, we saw a lot of life science breakthroughs. But while the approvals of products like Keytruda and Yescarta are fabulous developments and are having a real impact on people’s lives, hidden under the surface of them is what, I think, will make the biggest difference in the 2020s: broad but consistent step-by-step progress.


A Conversation with Dr. Nigel Mouncey, Director of the Joint Genome Institute: The next frontier of genomic breakthroughs
Aaron Steger

Nigel Mouncey, PhD is the Director of the Joint Genome Institute (JGI). We sat down with Dr. Mouncey to discuss the most exciting ongoing developments in genomic research and how data will continue to shape life science R&D.



Building a Strong Data Foundation to Get Machine Learning and Automation Right
Ashoka Rajendra

Given the world that artificial intelligence promises, life science researchers are really interested in how advanced data analysis and machine learning techniques can up-level their R&D efforts. There’s no lack of enthusiasm to leverage these tools, so how do we get to that world?



Software as a Biotechnology: How Benchling Extensions and Integrations Drive Life Sciences R&D
Neena Parikh and Reed Molbak

Benchling’s Developer Platform makes it possible for companies to set up smart integrations with lab instruments and internal systems to automate and centralize data capture in Benchling. Here are five powerful ways our clients have developed custom software using our APIs to dramatically accelerate their research workflows.


Announcing Benchling for Lab Automation: Harness the full potential of your lab hardware
Roger Pellegrini

We’re thrilled to announce Benchling for Lab Automation, a new addition to the Benchling platform that gives life science R&D teams a centralized environment to design, document, run, and analyze up to 10,000 samples at once.


Announcing Benchtalk West: The premier forum for life science R&D and IT
Sean Smith

At Benchling, we’re thrilled to be fostering a community of life science R&D and IT professionals. To bring this community together, we’re hosting Benchtalk West, Benchling’s West Coast user forum, on Thursday, April 16 at AC Hotel in South San Francisco, CA. Benchtalk West is an annual gathering of life science R&D leaders to learn, network, and share best practices.


If you or someone you know is interested in being featured in Benchtalk, please email [email protected]

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