Bioengineers Design Faster and Less Expensive Chip Producing DNA

Bioengineers at Pratt School of Engineering in Duke University have developed a one-by-three inch chip which can make custom-made segments of DNA in two days. Production of DNA segments is currently done in two weeks, using large equipment and significant manpower. According to Jingdong Tian and colleagues, this breakthrough could have vital contributions in the production and screening of new drugs, and in gene cloning.

"Using current technology, it takes between about fifty cents to a dollar to create each base pair – using the new chip reduces costs to less than half of one cent per base pair," said Tian. "In addition, current methods create many ‘mistakes' that must be accounted for," Tian continued. "The chip-based method is self-correcting, in that whenever an error in copying is detected, it is automatically fixed…The chip basically combines the three steps into one, which can be completed in less than two days, and without all the labor currently needed."

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This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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