Synthetic Biology
Support and Educational Content

One-step strategy to create transgenic and KO mouse models (Easi-CRISPR) uses Megamer ssDNA donors and CRISPR RNPs

Read how the use of long, ssDNA donor sequences can improve HDR editing efficiency. These donor sequences, now available as custom Megamer Single-Stranded DNA Fragments from IDT, are injected into mouse embryos, along with CRISPR RNP complexes, to create transgenic and conditional knockout mouse models.

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Tips for working with gBlocks® Gene Fragments

Working with IDT custom, synthetic dsDNA fragments? Get these tips from our scientists on the best ways to resuspend, quantify, and calculate copy number of gBlocks® Gene Fragments.

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Pakistani iGEM team’s biosensor detects vehicle emission levels

Research profile: Learn how the first ever Pakistani iGEM team developed a portable, inexpensive vehicle emissions test to address air pollution. They used gBlocks Gene Fragments for construction of genetic circuits to detect carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. The colorimetric biosensor won this young research team a bronze medal at the 2016 iGEM International Jamboree.

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iGEM, and the vision for the next generation of synthetic biology researchers

Randy Rettberg, Co-founder and President of iGEM, discusses the 2016 iGEM competition in this video interview. Learn about his vision for the future for the students that participate in iGEM, as well as the future of synthetic biology.

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Improved pathogen detection by multiplex RT-qPCR

Citation summary: Learn how gBlocks Gene Fragments can help optimize multiplex qPCR for pathogen detection in human clinical samples.

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Observing subpopulations within cloned plasmids using NGS analysis

IDT is transitioning sequence verification of our Genes products from Sanger sequencing methods to NGS. Read more to find out what the benefits are when using NGS for analysis of cloned genes.

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Zika virus: Advances in disease modeling and detection

IDT is supporting global research aimed at reducing the widespread effects of Zika. Learn about the virus, and read a summary of the latest developments.

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Codon optimization tool makes synthetic gene design easy

Use the free IDT Codon Optimization Tool to simplify designing synthetic genes and gBlocks® Gene Fragments for expression in a variety of organisms. The tool allows for manual changes, and takes into account natural codon bias and synthesis complexity.

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Benefits of codon optimization

Planning to express a gene in an heterologous system? Learn how rebalancing codon usage is important for optimizing protein expression. While there are no known methods to predict protein expression, as numerous factors contribute to ultimate protein yield, codon optimization plays a critical role.

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RNA-guided gene drives for inheritance bias in yeast: Safe, responsible genome editing

Citation summary: Read about how a group of researchers use gBlocks® Gene Fragments and novel precautionary measures to responsibly investigate Cas9-based eukaryotic inheritance bias of gene drives.

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Measuring promoter-driven transcriptional noise in E. coli

Research profile: Read about how gBlocks® Gene Fragments facilitated the College of William & Mary’s iGEM project on promoter stochasticity (“noise”), which won the Grand Prize at the 2015 iGEM Giant Jamboree. The team applied Elowitz’s promoter evaluation method to the 3 most frequently used promoters in the iGEM BioBrick registry and found significant differences in promoter function.

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“Boomerang”—targeting cancer treatments to cancer cells

Research profile: Read about how the 2015 Ben-Gurion iGEM team used a CRISPR-Cas9 transactivation system to develop a highly specific cancer targeting tool, with both diagnostic and therapeutic potential.

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Functional nucleic acids as antibody alternatives for small molecule detection

Research profile: Learn how 2015 iGEM Team Heidelberg students applied functional nucleic acids to design high-affinity, ligand-specific aptamers, in just hours, and without SELEX. Read how the team applied these molecules in western blots, to repair a mutated mRNA, and in a date rape drug test strip. Their DNA aptamer sequence designs were synthesized as single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides by IDT.

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Czech Republic iGEM team’s diagnostic for circulating tumor cells

Research profile: Read how students participating on the Czech Republic’s first iGEM team reprogrammed yeast cells to identify circulating tumor cells. Their project, the IOD Band, could become a general diagnostic test for early detection and mapping of tumor cell mobility. IDT gBlocks® Gene Fragments facilitated rapid, construct assembly of IOD Band receptor molecules.

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Towards next generation biosensors

Research profile: Read how fluorescent protein-based Ca2+ indicators based on naturally occurring substrates are assembled using gBlocks Gene Fragments. These sensors are being developed to monitor in vivo neural activity.

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Expanded genome modification roles for CRISPR/Cas9 using Cas9-VPR and shortened sgRNAs

Citation summary: This paper describes how Cas9 enzyme function can be modulated to perform genome editing and gene regulation functions simultaneously, and how these activities can be used to construct complex genetic circuits. IDT gBlocks® Gene Fragments were used to assemble U6-driven sgRNA expression cassettes and a CRISPR-repressible promoter (CRP) library.

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iGEM teams engineer success with gBlocks® Gene Fragments

The 2015 iGEM teams have made significant progress on their projects. Read our interview with some of the teams to find out how the competition is going, and how they are using gBlocks® Gene Fragments.

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Plates of custom DNA fragments for high-throughput applications

Obtain gBlocks Gene Fragments in 96-well plates to facilitate large orders and high throughput use.

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Site-directed mutagenesis—improvements to established methods

Site-directed mutagenesis techniques have relied primarily on PCR and standard cloning methods. Read about some of the common cloning methods used for mutagenesis and how double-stranded DNA fragments (gBlocks Gene Fragments) can save you both time and money.

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gBlocks® Gene Fragments Ordering Tool

Easy tool for uploading or entering gBlocks Gene Fragments sequence requests, that also judges complexity, and allows you to edit the sequences on the spot.

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Overlapping biocontainment strategies for genetically modified E. coli

Citation summary: gBlocks Gene Fragments are used to create codon optimized components of a biocontainment system for genetically modified E. coli.

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iGEM Students Engineer Biological Tools for a Better World

Projects from 2 of the prize-winning 2013 iGEM teams show how non-standard natural and synthetic amino acids can be used in 1) peptide synthesis, and 2) tuberculosis monitoring and treatment. Both projects make use of gBlocks® Gene Fragments to speed construct assembly.

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The gene construction revolution

See how use of high-quality, custom dsDNA fragments as a starting material allows you to turn what might otherwise be multi-step cloning assemblies into simpler reactions.You can often just order the entire target sequence ready for cloning or other uses.

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Accelerate your recombinant gene or protein development

Library of variant dsDNA sequences to generate up to 4E18 sequence variations that could be used for a variety of functional screenings of nucleotide or peptide variants.

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Decoding Cas9 orthologs using gBlocks® Gene Fragments

Citation summary: gBlocks Gene Fragments were used to create Cas9 orthologs as well as tracRNA expression cassettes for each ortholog tested.

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Epigenetic biomarkers for prostate cancer

Research profile: See how these scientists use methylation and expression analysis methods to evaluate epigenetic markers for early, noninvasive detection of aggressive prostate cancer. IDT PrimeTime® qPCR Assays, ZEN™ Double-Quenched Probes, and gBlocks® Gene Fragments facilitate this research.

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Creating a synthetic immune system for optimized immune profiling

Research profile: A high-throughput method for sequencing and quantification of rearranged antigen receptors on T- and B-cells using gBlocks Gene Fragments to create a “gold standard synthetic immune system” where the binding sites for every possible forward and reverse primer combination for a given receptor type were represented.

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CRISPR and Cas9 for flexible genome editing

Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPRs) are sequences that serve as an adaptive defense ("immune") systems in bacteria and archaea. Learn how scientists have coopted this natural mechanism for targeted gene editing or removal. This article also describes some of the early applications for which this technology is being used.

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Libraries of double-stranded DNA fragments

Learn about obtaining double-stranded DNA fragment libraries that contain up to 18 consecutive N or K bases for generating up to 4e18 sequence variations.

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A high throughput, high resolution melting protocol for identifying single-nucleotide polymorphisms

Citation summary: Rapid SNP evaluation by HTP melt-curve analysis, using gBlocks® Gene Fragments as melt-curve controls.

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Caffeine addicted bacteria

Citation summary: Use of IDT gBlocks® Gene Fragments in Gibson Assembly® reactions to generate some of the plasmid constructs in this work.

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Innovative Therapeutic Antibodies

Use of gBlocks® Gene Fragments to synthesize antibody variable regions to create novel heavy/light chain combinations.

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Easily designed standard curves for qPCR

Adopt this easy way to combine control templates/multiple targets onto a single construct, and get the advantages that they provide for PCR experiments.

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Predictable control of gene expression by mRNA, 3’ untranslated region motifs

Citation summary: See how these researchers use gBlocks® Gene Fragments as qPCR standards to generate DNA standard curves for absolute quantification of mRNA.

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Small RNA regulation of guanine quartet formation and antigenic variation

Citation summary: Using gBlocks® Gene Fragments, these researchers create mutated version of a small RNA to show how it facilitates the formation of a guanine quartet.

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Improving vaccine development

Learn about a directed, molecular evolution process employed by the biopharmaceutical company, Altravax, that uses in vitro DNA recombination to generate large libraries of recombined, chimeric DNA sequences that express potential vaccine candidates. IDT gBlocks Gene Fragments have proved instrumental in this high throughput technology.

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Undergraduate iGEM Competition Moves Synthetic Biology Forward

An overview of the 2012 top 4 highest placing teams in the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition (iGEM) with a more in depth summary of 2nd place winner Slovenia's project on an engineered inducible cellular switch (Switch-it system) for delivery of therapeutic drugs directly to target tissues.

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Building biological factories for renewable and sustainable products

Research profile: Read how Amyris uses genetic engineering and screening technologies to design microorganisms that convert plant-sourced sugars into target molecules, including pharmaceuticals, biofuels, polymers, flavors, and fragrances.

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Studying protein interactions with gBlocks® Gene Fragments

Citation summary: Read how scientists use a fragment of adenomatous polyposis coli protein (APC), expressed from a gBlocks Gene Fragment, to monitor interactions of an axin mutant and wild-type RGS domain with this protein. The results provide a better understand of axin’s role in the β-catenin destruction complex, part of a Wnt signaling pathway.

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Generating quick constructs for intracellular vesicular transport studies

Research profile: gBlocks Gene Fragments can provide rapid and cheap access to new types of functional and structural elements. See how these researchers use the custom dsDNA fragments for construction of novel biological modules and cascades to better understand the tethering complexes and transcription-regulating complexes critical to intracellular vesicular transport.

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Cloning strategies, Part 1: Assembly PCR for novel gene synthesis

Learn how you can use single-stranded oligos or a mix of single- and double-stranded DNA to produce longer genes of up to several thousand base pairs. No restriction sites are needed, and the approach is beneficial for assembling constructs that contain modular elements, such as antibodies.

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Mutagenesis using gBlocks® Gene Fragments

Citation summary: Learn how just 3 synthetic, high fidelity, double-stranded gBlocks Gene Fragments were used to mutate 18 different sites over the entire exon 7, 1039 bp sequence.

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A next generation understanding of immune response

See how scientists use gBlocks® Gene Fragments and PCR-amplified DNA in assembly PCR of antibodies to study the immune system's response to patients receiving flu vaccinations.

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Fast and accurate assembly of gene fragments

Learn how you can quickly assembly genes using custom dsDNA fragments now available up to 3 kb. gBlocks Gene Fragments and Gibson Assembly Master Mix provide a fast and accurate protocol.

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Cloning strategies, Part 3: Blunt-end cloning

Blunt-end cloning is one of the easiest and most versatile methods for cloning dsDNA into plasmid vectors. It is easy because the blunt-ended insert requires little to no preparation. Read an overview of blunt-end cloning with tips for making this cloning approach successful.

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iGEM—extending the reach of synthetic biology

Four teams talk about their creative applications of synthetic biology methods for the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGem) competition.

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Towards real-time imaging in single, living cells

Learn how this research team is developing oligonucleotide technologies for detection and quantification of specific RNA transcripts in live cells using molecular beacons and gBlocks Gene Fragments..

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Assembling gene fragments using isothermal assembly

Learn how to use the Gibson Isothermal Assembly method to quickly combine gene fragments, such as IDT gBlocks Gene Fragments, into large constructs.

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Cloning strategies, Part 2: Cohesive-end cloning

Cohesive-end cloning is one of the most commonly employed techniques in molecular biology. Review these tips and tricks for cloning using restriction enzymes.

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Easy gene assembly—gBlocks® custom dsDNA gene fragments

Could your research benefit from faster gene assembly? gBlocks Gene Fragments are 125—3000 bp, custom double-stranded DNA fragments of your specified sequence. Use them for all your cloning applications.

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Isothermal assembly: Quick, easy gene construction

Learn how, in a single reaction, isothermal assembly can combine several overlapping DNA fragments to produce a ligated plasmid ready for transformation.

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gBlocks® Gene Fragments

Double-stranded DNA up to 3,000 kb—great for easy gene construction, CRISPR genome editing, and more.

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Related Articles

CRISPR and Cas9 for Flexible Genome Editing

Applications of Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPRs) for targeted gene editing or removal of sequences.

Read more ≫

Cloning Strategies Part 3: Blunt-End Cloning

Tips and tricks for blunt-end cloning.

Read more ≫

Building Biological Factories for Renewable and Sustainable Products

Amyris uses genetic engineering and screening technologies to design microorganisms that convert plant-sourced sugars into target molecules, including pharmaceuticals, biofuels, polymers, flavors, and fragrances.

Read more ≫

iGEM Students Engineer Biological Tools for a Better World

iGEM teams show how non-standard natural and synthetic amino acids can be used in 1) peptide synthesis, and 2) disease monitoring and treatment. Both projects make use of gBlocks® Gene Fragments to speed construct assembly.

Read more ≫

Creating a Synthetic Immune System for Optimized Immune Profiling

A high-throughput method for sequencing and quantification of rearranged antigen receptors on T- and B-cells using gBlocks Gene Fragments to create a “gold standard synthetic immune system.”

Read more ≫