Local researchers have developed a faster
and cheaper way of synthesizing DNA, which could enable scientists to create things like
tailor-made drugs. They call it “sniper cloning” and the technology
is expected to have numerous applications in science, medicine and other fields.
Sohn Jung-in has more. Last year, U.S. researchers engineered a bacterium
with an added pair of DNA bases not found in nature.
The cells of this unique bacterium could replicate on their own, creating a new artificial organism.
This kind of DNA synthesis technology enables scientists to create tailor-made drugs or
chemicals with specific functions. But it can cost millions of dollars and take
years to succeed. Now, local researchers have come up with a
quicker and cheaper way to synthesize DNA, and they can do it in just few days and for
under a few thousand dollars. They created millions of DNA bases, which
they implanted onto small semiconductor chips and then, using a fully automated pulse laser
system, they were able to single out the bases they needed.
“This so-called Sniper Cloning can rapidly retrieve the desired beads with DNA of the
exact same sequence using optical pressure.” The system, which is expected to take three
to four years to be commercialized, aims to take scientists one step further in the field
of synthetic biology… and it could have numerous applications, from new medicine to
new kinds of nanotechnology. Sohn Jung-in, Arirang News.