Certain techniques of molecular evolution – the generation and selection of functional molecules using biological mechanisms “in the test tube” – are well established, but still only used by laboratories expert in the art. Principal examples include directed evolution, SELEX, and yeast, bacterial and phage surface display selection methods. These techniques provide access to peptides and polynucleotides with an enormous range of properties. Many labs at Tech (and everywhere else) often want to gain access to these tools, but make do without them because it is too difficult and time consuming to get started.
Molecular Evolution Core Facility is a recently open facility housed in an 800-sq.-ft. suite on the second floor of the Engineered Biosystems Building. The purpose of the facility is to provide a routine access to the molecular evolution methods and serve as a force-multiplier for any laboratory at Tech and beyond that is in search for new molecular catalysts or molecular binders.
The facility currently capable of performing phage, bacterial and yeast displays. Additional services include custom cloning, Sanger and next generation sequencing. Students and postdocs at Tech also have an opportunity to be trained cutting-edge methodologies to either take the methods back to their home groups, or be engaged in longer-term collaborations.
The facility includes all equipment necessary for semi-automated production and characterization of DNA libraries, cell transformation, growth and binding analysis.
The center also provides following “in house” generated products:
- E. coli competent cells
- Taq DNA polymerase
- Phusion DNA polymerase
- DNA ladder
- LB plates