This post was contributed by guest blogger Meghan Monroy, a graduate student in Protein Science at the University of Connecticut.
Molecular cloning is the isolation, insertion and amplification of a recombinant DNA without sequence alteration. Molecular cloning techniques are some of the most widely used techniques in the biological sciences and constitute foundational elements of biomedical research. Traditional restriction cloning is one of the oldest of these techniques and is a multi-step process consisting of digestion, purification, ligation, and transformation. While restriction cloning is still routinely performed by many labs, a variety of other cloning techniques with higher efficiency and simpler procedures have been developed. Some of these include, TA cloning, ligation independent cloning, TOPO cloning, one step cloning, and overlap extension PCR. Although each type of cloning has its advantages, most scientists still encounter several struggles with these techniques: unwanted mutations due to excessive PCR cycles or low fidelity Taq DNA polymerase, the construction of specific sequences for base pair overhangs, insert and vector purification, and, most importantly, excessive time requirements. FastCloning is a simpler yet reliable cloning technique that was developed by Chaokun, et al., in 2011. This method is ligation independent, it does not require purification of insert or vector products, nor does it require the use of specific sequences. Read on to learn how easy this process is and to get tips for applying it in your own lab.