Sequence Intelligence in Signals Notebook

Oct 22, 2021 · By Dr. Larry Mulcahy, Ph.D

Biotechnology is at the forefront of the world’s mind as new therapies and tools are developed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Behind the COVID crisis, PerkinElmer Informatics’ solutions are applicable to multiple industries. For example, our customers are engineering microbial strains to develop new fragrances, improving crop performance through genome engineering, and creating new enzyme catalysts for greener chemistry. The foundation of biotechnology is molecular sequence design, often starting with plasmid vectors or protein sequences. With an October release we’ve brought the language of molecular biology into SignalsTM Notebook, the modern, cloud-native electronic lab notebook (ELN).

Because many competitive informatics software doesn’t support sequence files in a first-class fashion, scientists have developed workarounds like shared folders with their designs and a separate spreadsheet (or sheets!) that describes key features of plasmids or protein designs. Now documenting the design process that begins biologics development couldn’t be simpler with PerkinElmer Informatics Signals Notebook.

Our new Biological Sequence Element supports a wide array of DNA and protein files. It’s simple to drop a file into an experiment and instantly get an annotated map of the underlying sequence. Open the Element into full-size mode and dynamically explore deeper features of the molecular design. Integration with SnapGene, a popular tool for molecular design, enables design and update of sequences housed in the Signals cloud.

The Biological Sequence Element also unlocks scientific collaboration. I’m reminded of a group engineering cell lines to support biomarker validation and assays. The team was spread across London, Chicago, and San Francisco for a global company. These colleagues collaborated by emailing files back and forth with notes on designs and experimental advice. A very inefficient and siloed process.

Now the designs and experimental context can be shared directly in Signals Notebook. And, commenting enables all the incredibly valuable scientific discussion to be shared outside of a one-to-one email message.

We’re excited to bring these new capabilities to our partners. I’m looking forward to hearing your response to this new feature and excited to share our continuing plans to fully support biologics workflows across our Signals Research Suite.

Click here to view Larry’s presentation on the new Biological Sequence Element on Day 2 of PerkinElmer Informatics Annual Nexus 2021 User Conference.

About the Author

Dr. Larry Mulcahy, Ph.D., is a Product Manager for Biologics in the Signals Suite. His scientific training and research background includes biochemistry, molecular biology, endocrinology, and academic drug discovery. He has spent the last several years in software as a scientific solution consultant across industries with a heavy focus on biopharma R&D.