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GEN News Highlights : Apr 8, 2013

Lego-Like Cloning Platform for Transforming Synthetic Biology

Scientists at Oxford Genetics have developed a range of synthetic DNA products that they believe will revolutionize the genetic research sector. They say the new technology, called SnapFast™, provides a fully interchangeable module-based genetic engineering platform that offers research scientists improved efficiency and flexibility.

Managing director of Oxford Genetics Ryan Cawood, Ph.D., who invented the system, describes the cloning platform as “Lego for DNA”. Dr. Cawood explains how it works:

“Historically, most genetic engineering has been performed with pieces of DNA, gathered from a variety of sources that were never intended to fit together. This can often make genetic engineering time-consuming and frustrating. What we are doing at Oxford Genetics is providing all of the standard DNA components that researchers use on a regular basis, and putting them into a compatible and ‘easy to clone’ format.”

Oxford Genetics has developed a modular system in which every DNA component can be exchanged for hundreds of other DNA components that have been predesigned to offer a range of research functions, according to Dr. Cawood. This is the concept of SnapFast.

“The system really allows you to make very complicated DNA research tools in quite a short amount of time,” he added. “We are also offering bespoke cloning and DNA synthesis services, allowing our customers to use us as a ‘one stop shop’ for genetic engineering.”