Desktop Genetics

Creating tools and services to engineer any gene, in any cell, in any species — without stepping into a lab. Backed by Illumina, the largest DNA sequencing company in the world.

Aug 15, 2017 · 2 min read


The cost of genome sequencing has plummeted over recent years. Many labs can now afford to buy a genome sequencer, some labs have hundreds of sequencers. Scientists around the world have now sequenced thousands of human genomes. However, the data is not organized in a way that allows for analysis, and there aren’t any tools available to analyze it either.

Biological data is highly complex too, possibly more so than big data in physics and other fields. Biological data is technically smaller but much more difficult to organize. Beyond whether the genes are turned on or off, what RNAs and proteins they are producing, one also has to consider clinical symptoms, chemical or other exposures, and demographics. This creates a very complicated analysis problem.

Most people in the discipline don’t necessarily know how to handle big data either.


Desktop Genetics uses data from CRISPR experiments and literature to create a suite of gene editing tools and services, including an artificial intelligence system that will accelerate biotech R&D and drive genome-editing in the lab and clinic.

The company provides its tools to Editas Medicine, the largest CRISPR therapeutics company in the world, and has previously received strategic corporate investment from Illumina, the largest provider of DNA sequencing technology in the world.

Notable Investors

Illumina, Inc. is an American company incorporated in April 1998 that develops, manufactures and markets integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and biological function. In 2014, Illumina was named the world’s smartest company by MIT Technology Review

Notable Customers

A flagship CRISPR therapeutic company, Editas uses our state of the art software to accelerate the development of a revolutionary class of medical interventions and eradicate genetic­ diseases. Editas partnered with us to design and assess the specificity of CRISPR-based therapeutics with our platform.
A leading precision genome editing company, Horizon Discovery partnered with Desktop Genetics to develop gUIDEbook​, an in silico ​CRISPR design platform that combines Horizon’s expert CRISPR experience with Desktop Genetics’ bioinformatics expertise. gUIDEbook is used internally by Horizon to identify the most suitable guide RNAs for each specific project. Wizard and Advanced versions are available to Horizon customers.
Leaders in engineering microorganism genomes, enEvolv has partnered with us to make use of our DNA search engine and automated cloning algorithms. ​Their work involves assembling hundreds of plasmids to create microorganisms that produce chemicals, enzymes and small molecules for major companies.

How you can contribute

The entire genetics field needs more coders and hackers — biologists and computer scientists alike — to get together and catapult biology and medicine into the 21st century and beyond.

Check out Desktop Genetics' latest job openings.


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