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New DNA synthesis technique promises rapid, high-fidelity DNA printing

Date: 25.6.2018 

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have invented a new way to synthesize DNA that promises to be easier and faster, does not require the use of toxic chemicals and is potentially more accurate. 
Kredit: Marilyn Chung, Berkeley Lab.

With greater accuracy, the technique could produce DNA strands 10 times longer than today's methods. The researchers say the ease of use could lead to ubiquitous "DNA printers" in research labs, akin to the 3-D printers in many workshops today.

"If you're a mechanical engineer, it's really nice to have a 3-D printer in your shop that can print out a part overnight so you can test it the next morning," said UC Berkeley graduate student Dan Arlow. "If you're a researcher or bioengineer and you have an instrument that streamlines DNA synthesis, a 'DNA printer,' you can test your ideas faster and try out more new ideas. I think it will lead to a lot of innovation."

"I personally think Dan and his colleague's new method could revolutionize how we make DNA," said Jay Keasling, a UC Berkeley professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, senior faculty scientist at Berkeley Lab and chief executive officer of JBEI.

Keasling and JBEI scientists specialize in adding genes to microbes, mostly yeast and bacteria, to produce useful products – drugs, fuels, industrial chemicals – sustainably, with the least toxic byproducts and lowest energy use. "We believe that increased access to DNA constructs will speed up the development of new cures for diseases and simplify the production of new medicines," Palluk said.





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