TARDIS Genetic Data Compression

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­Technology ID: UO-20-020

Researchers: Zach Stevenson, Stephen Banse, Patrick Philips

The TARDIS technology is a high-throughput genetic engineering method for complex multi-cellular organisms. 

Technology Background:  A fundamental tool in molecular biology is the generation of transgenic individuals which have foreign DNA integrated into their genomes.  In microbial systems (e.g. bacteria and yeast), this can be done in massively parallel events to generate experimental availability of large population sizes. 

Definition of Problem: In non-microbial models (for example nematodes, zebrafish, fruit flies, or mice) researchers lack a way to create pre-designed, high-throughput, parallelized genomic edits.  The current state of the art for gene editing that can be done in plants and animals is labor-intensive and conducted on an individualized basis that is not scalable.  There is a fundamental barrier in non-microbial models when performing experiments like lineage tracking or DNA transformation based genetic screening that require the generation of extremely large populations of individuals with unique genetic modifications.

Our Technology SolutionWe have developed a novel genetic engineering system that overcomes this obstacle, allowing experimenters to create large numbers of pre-designed, single-copy lineages simultaneously, rivaling the simplicity of transformation in microbial systems.  The method is termed Transgenic Arrays Resulting in Diversity of Integrated Sequences. The TARDIS system massively increases throughput by supplying the organism with a ‘database’ of DNA sequences as a single inheritable DNA element in a ‘compressed’ state storing many DNA sequences that will eventually be integrated into individual organisms.  This approach allows for systematic transformation of whole libraries of sequences, allowing applications such as DNA barcoding, developmental lineage tracking, and whole-genome gene knock-outs and knock-downs.

Applications: TARDIS could be widely applied for synthetic biology and experimental evolution, which has important utility for the generation of a range of commercial purposes, such as novel enzymes or drug discovery. Coupling the data compression of TARDIS with experimental evolution with an animal or tissue model opens the potential for novel protein engineering which can lead to therapeutic peptides and the creation of synthetic biological pathways for creation of therapeutic biological compounds.

Contact: For more information, please contact the Innovation Partnership Services office of the University of Oregon at techtran@uoregon.edu

Patent Applications: 63/013,365 filed 4/21/2020; 17/236,556 filed 4/21/2021, published 10/28/2021 as US20210332387A1


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For Information, Contact:
Christine Gramer
Senior Technology Development Associate
University of Oregon
Patrick Phillips
Zachary Stevenson
Stephen Banse
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