Yes, DNA sequencing labs monitor sequences ordered for certain "sequences of concern".
At least two gene synthesis companies claim to follow the U.S. governmental Screening Framework Guidance for Synthetic
Double-stranded DNA Providers, which recommends that providers screen both customers and sequences, and that they ask additional questions if a potentially dangerous DNA sequence is ordered:
Providers should establish a comprehensive and integrated screening
framework that includes both customer screening and sequence
screening, as well as follow-up screening when customer and/or
sequence screening raises a concern.
• Customer Screening - The
purpose of customer screening is to establish the legitimacy of
customers ordering synthetic dsDNA sequences. Providers should develop
customer screening mechanisms to verify the legitimacy of a customer
if the customer is an organization or confirm customer identity if the
customer is an individual, to identify potential ‘red flags,’ and to
conform to U.S. trade restrictions and export control regulations.
Sequence Screening - The purpose of sequence screening is to identify
when “sequences of concern” are ordered. Identification of a “sequence
of concern” does not necessarily imply that the order itself is of
concern. Rather, when a “sequence of concern” is ordered, further
follow-up procedures should be used to determine if filling the order
would raise concern. Sequence screening is recommended for all dsDNA
• Follow-up Screening – The purpose of follow-up screening is
to verify the legitimacy of customers both at the level of the
customer and the principal user, to confirm that customers and
principal users placing an order are acting within their authority,
and to verify the legitimacy of the end-use.
Genewiz claims to follow the framework in its FAQ:
Q: Does GENEWIZ have a procedure in place to address potential
concerns for gene synthesis projects?
A: GENEWIZ is fully aware of all risks and benefits associated with
gene synthesis research. With the knowledge that gene synthesis
technologies have the ability to enable de novo reconstruction of
dangerous pathogens, GENEWIZ employs rigorous quality control policies
and procedures to safeguard against abuse of the genes we synthesize.
GENEWIZ actively monitors the Screening Framework Guidance for
Synthetic Double-Stranded DNA Providers, drafted by U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services (HHS), as well as the Select Agents and
Toxins list put forth by the U.S. Government.
IDT also claims to follow similar regulations in its press release:
IDT’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel for International
Legal and Regulatory Affairs, Damon Terrill, spoke about the screening
standards and practices applied by all IGSC member companies, and
their close collaboration with federal authorities. He discussed how
the IGSC’s sequence and customer screening protocol achieves the
objectives of the US Government’s draft Screening Framework Guidance
for Synthetic Double-stranded DNA Providers