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Plasmids 101: Gibson Assembly and Other Long-Homology Based Cloning Methods

Posted by Brook Pyhtila on Mar 1, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Over the past decade, scientists have developed and fine tuned many different ways to clone DNA fragments which have provided appealing alternatives to restriction enzyme cloning. These newer technologies have become more and more common, and for good reason. They offer many advantages over the traditional restriction enzyme cloning we once relied exclusively on. In this blog post, I will go over some advantages, disadvantages, and examples of how scientists are using Gibson assembly to put together DNA fragments.

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Topics: Plasmid Technology, Plasmids 101, Protocols, Plasmid Cloning

Plasmids 101: Restriction Cloning

Posted by Tyler Ford on Feb 18, 2016 10:42:06 AM

When cloning by restriction digest and ligation, you use restriction enzymes to cut open a plasmid (backbone) and insert a linear fragment of DNA (insert) that has been cut by compatible restriction enzymes. An enzyme, DNA ligase, then covalently binds the plasmid to the new fragment thereby generating a complete, circular plasmid that can be easily maintained in a variety of biological systems. Read on for an in-depth breakdown of how to do perform restriction digests.

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Topics: Plasmids 101, Protocols, Plasmid Cloning

REPLACR Mutagenesis: Replacing In Vitro Recombination Methods

Posted by Mary Gearing on Feb 10, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Site-directed mutagenesis (SDM) is one of the key tools researchers use to prove causation in molecular biology and genetics. It can be used to characterize the function of certain regions in a promoter or gene, as well as to study the effects of inactivating/activating mutations. In biomedical research, modeling patient mutations using SDM can help determine if a variant is causal for a given disease. CRISPR has made genomic SDM relatively straightforward, but plasmid-based SDM has lagged behind. While commercial kits are available for making small point mutations, large deletions/insertions require complicated, often costly in vitro assembly methods. A new method, REPLACR-mutagenesis, harnesses the power of bacterial recombineering to create insertions, deletions, and substitutions - at the same efficiency as Gibson Assembly and GeneArt cloning - but at a much lower cost. Read on to find out how to replace your SDM method with REPLACR (Recombineering of Ends of Linearized Plasmids After PCR).

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Topics: Protocols, Techniques, Plasmid Cloning

Plasmids 101: Sequence and Ligation Independent Cloning (SLIC)

Posted by Mary Gearing on Dec 17, 2015 10:30:00 AM

If cloning methods had personalities, SLIC (sequence- and ligation-independent cloning) would be a true rebel. Not only does this system not use site-specific recombination, it also doesn’t require a ligation step! Based on the robust system of homologous recombination found in E. coli, SLIC is a cheap, standardized, and rapid multi-part DNA assembly method - read on to learn how to use it in your research.

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Topics: Plasmid How To, Plasmids 101, Protocols, Plasmid Cloning

Plasmids 101: A Brief History of Plasmids and an Improved eBook!

Posted by Marcy Patrick on Oct 29, 2015 10:30:00 AM

Bioblasts? Plasmagenes? In the 1940s and 50s, scientists were working to understand genetic cytoplasmic factors that could be transferred between cells. At the time, these extranuclear agents of heredity were thought of as everything from parasites, to symbionts, to genes and the labels applied to them were vague or contradictory, owing in part to the fact that very little was known about the role these factors played within an organism. 

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Topics: Plasmids 101, Plasmid Cloning

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