Biotech startup Transcriptic raises $1.2m; cloud automation for the lab

A California biotech startup seeks to bring the efficiency of cloud computing to the process of subcloning.

Transcriptic, a biotech startup based in Menlo Park, Calif., has reportedly raised $1.2 million in seed funding to make subcloning -- the process by which a gene is moved to study it -- easier through the use of custom plasmids. The company says its cloud-based software can assemble them faster and cheaper than what's on the market today.

(What's a plasmid, you ask? A small DNA molecule that can self-replicate, yet is entirely separate from chromosomal DNA in some types of cells.)

The investment comes from Google Ventures, FF Angel, Mark Cuban and Naval Ravikant, among many others. (Some 70 investors contributed $150,000 online, according to a Wall Street Journal report.)

The company plans to sell its software to smaller laboratories -- including those found in academia -- that find themselves trailing larger labs run by major pharmaceutical companies. It's hoping it can bring to the life sciences the same kind of efficiencies seen by the information technology industry when it began to adopt cloud computing, reducing the number of scientists needed to perform the task.

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