Scientists can now clone thousands of genes in a single reaction

Things are about to speed up dramatically in genetic research, with scientists developing a new technique that can clone thousands of genes in a single reaction.

The new technology, called a LASSO probe, could be used to create libraries of proteins from DNA samples, speeding up the search for new drugs by replacing the tedious methods of gene cloning currently used….

….In this new study, the LASSO probe – which stands for “long adaptor single stranded oligonucleotide” – can capture and clone thousands of long DNA fragments and the researchers hope that the new technique will push the limits of what we can currently do.

“Our goal is to make it cheap and easy for any researcher in any field to clone and express the entire set of proteins from any organism,” said co-researcher Ben Larman from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Until now, such a prospect was only realistic for high-powered research consortia studying model organisms like fruit flies or mice.”

How does this new technique work?

A collection of LASSO probes were used to grab desired DNA sequences, you can think of it like the way a rope lasso is used to capture cattle. Instead of aiming for the spiky horns of a cow, the LASSO probe targets a DNA sequence up to a few thousand base pairs long – the typical length of a gene’s protein code.

The study is a proof of concept, with the LASSO probes used to capture over 3,000 DNA fragments from the E. coli bacterial genome. The results show the probes successfully captured around 75 percent of the gene they targeted.  Source: Scientists can now clone thousands of genes in a single reaction

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