Editor's note: This is the second of a three-part series on tools for core facilities. The last installment in the series, on peptide synthesizers, will appear in the Sept. 16 issue.
As the biotech revolution has exploded, so too has the market for oligonucleotides. And as the number of labs in need of these tools has grown, so has the science of their synthesis. In response, oligonucleotides, which are short, synthetic RNA or DNA sequences, have gone from luxury item status to that of a standard reagent. Now researchers use oligonucleotides for PCR, RNA interference, DNA sequencing and mutagenesis, and myriad other applications. Though a number of sophisticated instruments exist to perform oligonucleotide synthesis chemistry, researchers in need of oligonucleotides don't have to make them themselves; most universities have core facilities dedicated to DNA synthesis.
But some core facilities are now questioning whether offering DNA synthesis services still...
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