Vol.3 No.3 2010

−244−Synthesiology Editorial Board Editor in Chief: A. Ono Senior Executive Editor: N. Kobayashi and M. Seto Executive Editors: M. Akamatsu, K. Naito, T. Ishii Editors: S. Abe, K. Igarashi, H. Ichijo, K. Ueda, A. Etori, K. Ohmaki, Y. Owadano, M. Okaji, A. Kageyama, T. Kubo, T. Shimizu, Y. Jigami, H. Tateishi, M. Tanaka, E. Tsukuda, S. Togashi, H. Nakashima, K. Nakamura, Y. Hasegawa, J. Hama, K. Harada, N. Matsuki, K. Mizuno, N. Murayama, M. Mochimaru, A. Yabe, H. YoshikawaPublishing Secretariat: Website and Publication Office, Public Relations Department, AISTContact: Synthesiology Editorial Board c/o Website and Publication Office, Public Relations Department, AIST Tsukuba Central 2, 1-1-1 Umezono, Tsukuba 305-8568, Japan Tel: +81-29-862-6217 Fax: +81-29-862-6212 E-mail: URL: http://www.aist.go.jp/synthesiology*Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.Synthesiology - English edition Vol. 3 No. 3, Dec. 2010Edited by Synthesiology Editorial BoardPublished by National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)Letter from the editorThe goal of Synthesiology is to visibly organize the methodologies for overcoming the “valley of death” and the “period of nightmare” of R&D, and for establishing the “social technology” process in which the technology becomes accepted by society at its contact point. The methodologies are presented as assets common to humankind and the information is transmitted to the world. Particularly, we place importance on the description of the process by which technology is incorporated into society through integration and collaboration with other technologies from the perspective of synthesis.In this issue, the methodologies for overcoming the “valley of death” and the process for establishing the “social technology” are described as a progress of research in the paper, “Development of novel chemical reagents for reliable genetic analyses - Process from an original idea to marketing of a chemical product used for life science.” This paper provides a few tips to conquer the “valley of death” as well as useful insights on social technology.First, the paper recognizes that the DNAs that failed to bond with the linker could be removed by adding a function to the bonding area called the linker that bonds the synthesized DNA on the substrate, and describes the finding that the DNA becomes bondable through hydrophobic interaction with the target molecule. These were developed to meet the technical demands in the field of DNA chip that is being used for medical applications. The authors were able to discern the technological demand for raising the purity of the synthesized DNA and increasing the percentage of captured target molecules, and then proposed the idea for realizing them. This was an extremely effective factor.The second effective factor was reaching commercialization by adding major improvement to achieve reliability and originality differentiating from conventional technologies. This was done through joint research with the private companies, and during the process of establishing the social technology of mass production and performance evaluation of the DNA chip. The points where the authors experienced hardships, overcame the valley of death, established the social technology by achieving mass production and reliability as well as originality differentiating from conventional technology, and finally realizing practical use, can be highly praised. I believe this paper will serve as useful reference for many technological developments.Moreover, the authors mentioned that they tried out new ideas without being caught up in technological demands. Yet, I think expanding the function of the DNA chip by adding functions to the linker was a major social demand, and the authors were able to propose the new idea by understanding the new demands.To be able to understand the process of establishment of a social technology and the ways to overcome the valley of death from the papers submitted to Synthesiology was a pleasant experience, where I almost felt like a participant of the R&D. Editor Akira Yabe


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