Autodesk Project Cyborg - CAD for molecular biology

Activities of the Autodesk Research division lately cover not only "hardcore" CAD technologies but also biotechnology and molecular biology. There are already several interesting Autodesk products in this area - see e.g. Sci-Viz, 3D printing living tissues, etc.

According to a blog post in New York Times, Autodesk now officially enters the emerging nanoscale world of synthetic biology and materials with its "Project Cyborg" - a web-based software platform for delivering services like molecular modeling and simulation. Project Cyborg will be announced at the TED conference currently taking place in Long Beach, CA. This project is developed for two years as a cooperation between CAD software developers and molecular biologists. Scientists, engineers and even students and enthusiasts should soon be able to use the system on individual projects.

Thanks to new devices like 3D bio-printers by Organovo, the worlds of design and digital prototyping of machines and biological tissues come closer. Indeed, both these worlds have many common features, and design processes of biological materials are now becoming less different from designing cars or factories.

In any case, Autodesk is moving on a road that opens wide possibilities for future development.