Field of Science

When corporations are AWESOME

A very small miracle happened last night.

In order to get on of our pigments, we need to synthesise a piece of DNA. A very large piece of DNA, that would normally cost around £3000 to get synthesised, effectively blowing our synthesis budget for this project. I've been spending most of last week agonising about how much of the actual gene we wanted to synthesise, I didn't want to cut too much out, in case it stopped working.

I got an email from my supervisor last night: DNA2.0 have agreed to synthesise is for us.

For free.


They also have awesome free software you can use to send them the bits you want synthesised. It puts every bit of DNA on a separate arrow, which can be looked at in sequence form or just an image (as shown on the right). In the sequence form it shows you what protein sequence it makes, where the restriction sites are and which codons can be optimised for different organisms. You can also take some of the more standard parts (i.e promoters, ribosome binding sites etc) from a list down the side, and drag them into your construct.

You can move the little DNA arrows around into different orders as well. And colour code them if you want. It works a little slow, but I think that just might be my computer.

I'm still in a little happy daze from the offer to be honest. It is going to make the whole project so much easier and quicker.


FreeWildebeest said...

Wow. That's awesome for several reasons. I'm impressed by the generosity, but also the awesomeness of software to make genes.

There's just something about it which strikes me as being very full of awe... being able to design DNA sequences and then order it is impressive.

Lab Rat said...

I should write a post about gene synthesis sometime :) it really does make the whole process of gene design a lot less painful...

All the actual scientist has to do is work out the sequence of bases that they need (which I'll be doing on Monday actually). The company then assembles them in the right order, or rather has machines to do that, sticks the gene into a plasmid, and then sends it over, sometimes just as DNA sometimes in a bacteria.

Johnny said...

Ummm, what's a "corperation"? Better check your spelling skills before sending out a DNA order.

Lab Rat said...

Thanks Johnny! Spelling corrected.