When scientists want to study a specific gene, they'll make a molecular clone, a copy of a some DNA that they can then play around with in the lab.
This is called a plasmid; it's a unit of DNA that can be easily copied, then broken and is an important tool for molecular biologists.
Addgene.org is a not-for-profit genetic library where scientists can deposit and withdraw their DNA inventions. Think of it a bit like a bank for molecular biological parts, a way to share genetic discoveries.
Joanne Kamens is the Executive Director of Add Gene.