Cradle, the platform that helps scientists design and program proteins, today published the results of its first biodeveloper survey, probing biodevelopers’ approaches and priorities to build a picture of trends within the synthetic biology sector. The survey involved more than 150 biodevelopers and was conducted in partnership with Bits in Bio, a global community focused on building software for science.
Key findings from the survey include:
Programming is now an essential skill for biologists – and mostly self-taught
- Coding is now an essential skill for those in biotech. More than 8 out of 10 respondents (87%) wet lab scientists now write code – with 55% of respondents writing workflow automation scripts on a weekly basis and 39% programming data engineering or pipelines on a weekly basis.
- The majority reported that their coding skills are self-taught. Three-quarters (74%) of all respondents learned by doing the job, with 63% learning through school or education.
- Python was the most popular programming language With 97% of the participants having used it within the past 12 months to perform data analysis. Shell (Bash/Powershell) was the next most popular coding language (62% used), followed by R (53%), SQL (41%), and HTML/CSS (13%).
The majority of bio developers are already using machine learning
- Machine learning is now a well-established tool in biology. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of neighborhood developers say they currently use machine learning in their work. 26% of those who use machine learning do so on a weekly basis, and 20% do so monthly.
- 4 out of 10 people working in an in silico role are currently using ML (80%), with 68% of wet lab scientists currently using ML.
- The adoption of machine learning is set to increase further. 82% of those who do not already use machine learning in their work determination are interested in doing so in the future.
Protein engineering is a priority for biosynthetic developers
- Proteins are an area of great interest for biosynthetic developers. The survey found that 71% of respondents either already work in protein engineering, or are curious to explore it in the future
- Protein engineering offers a variety of applications. Enzymes, antibodies, short peptides, and gene-regulatory proteins were all areas of interest. 53% of people are interested in enzymes and 44% would like to work on gene-regulating proteins in the next 12 months.
As a company founded to make it easier for biologists to design and build proteins, we wanted to understand how biologists use technology in their work and what they use it for. It’s great to see the increasing role coding and machine learning play in biology and it’s clear that bench scientists are embracing these tools to further their work. With the rapid period of growth and maturation of AI technologies, this seems to be the benchmark for how biologists should work moving forward.
We were also amazed at the focus on protein design. Proteins have the potential to be a central tool in addressing the great challenges of the future; From combating climate change and pollution, to curing diseases and generating environmentally friendly alternative resources for food, clothing, materials and chemicals. It’s great to see so much interest from biological developers in this sector as it shows a growing awareness of potential proteins that have to solve many of the world’s most important problems.
Stef van Grieken, CEO and Co-Founder, Cradle
Bits in Bio was created to provide a space for people who build at the intersection of software and science. An important part of our job is to collect feedback from the community about the tools and technologies they use on a daily basis. By sharing these findings widely, we hope to encourage more communication among biodevelopers about best practices. Software is clearly increasingly important to scientific discovery and we’re dedicated to helping scientists and developers alike navigate this exciting intersection.
Nicholas LaRose-Stone, Creator of Bits in Bio and CEO of Sphinx Bio
the The case of biotechnology The report is based on a survey of 157 respondents from 18 countries around the world. The survey was published from 28y November 2022 to 5y January 2023
Cradle, the platform that helps scientists design and program proteins, today published the results of its first biodeveloper survey, probing biodevelopers’ approaches and priorities to build a picture of trends within the synthetic biology sector.