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Second cloning machine in Michigan at CMU

| Author: Hadlee Rinn | Media Contact: Kara Owens

CMU College of Medicine and faculty members: Eric Petersen, Ph.D, Jesse Bakke, Ph.D., Dr. Ute Hochgeschwender, and Julien Rossignol, Ph.D., recently purchased one of the only DNA/RNA synthesis and cloning machines in Michigan from TelesisBio. The device will greatly increase productivity at CMU in neuroscience and synthetic biology research. According to TelesisBio, the machine “was designed to enable and inspire researchers to advance discovery by eliminating bottlenecks in traditional synthetic biology solutions.”  

For example, when cloning synthetic DNA constructs manually, researchers at CMU can produce around five new constructs in two to four weeks, while scaling up to around 96 requires months. The automated machine can produce 96 new DNA constructs that are ready for functional testing in cells in less than two weeks. The new synthesis and cloning machine, in addition to recently acquired automated liquid handling and automated microscopy equipment, modernizes CMU’s labs and offers training opportunities in lab automation, not found at many other universities.  

Several universities have expressed interest in utilizing the machine for their research endeavors, fostering additional partnerships, collaborations, and relationships. The faculty at The University of Kentucky College of Medicine and a laboratory at Michigan State University are set to use the machine for their research. 

The machine will help current CMU graduate students Kaylee Taylor (Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology) and Michael Chatterton (Neuroscience) create genetically encoded neurotransmitter sensors and kinase sensors. For example, Taylor made 48 new genetically encoded bioluminescent neurotransmitter sensors manually last year, however, the cloning device will allow for what would usually take months to be completed overnight. 

Faculty at CMU interested in using the cloning machine can contact Eric Petersen for more information.  

This story is brought to you by the  Office of Research and Graduate Studies.