DNA cloning, also known as gene splicing or recombinant DNA technology, is crucial for all aspects of biomedical and biotechnology research. For example, DNA cloning has been of central importance for sequencing the human genome, generating safer vaccines, identifying genes involved in cancer and many other diseases, and producing therapeutic drugs such as insulin, growth hormones, blood clotting factors, and novel antibiotics. Tens of thousands of laboratories regularly perform DNA cloning. Yet the design and execution of DNA cloning projects is often remarkably inefficient. This situation impedes progress and forces scientists to divert attention from more creative activities. Well crafted software could solve these problems, but available programs do a poor job of facilitating DNA cloning. We plan to overcome this limitation by developing commercial software that will streamline the design and documentation of DNA cloning projects. This proposal has three Specific Aims.
Aim #1 : To develop software so versatile and easy to use that every step of DNA cloning will be simplified. An intuitive visual interface will simulate an entire cloning project. The software will enable users to achieve their goals quickly and without distraction.
Aim #2 : To provide complete, accessible documentation of the history of a DNA construct. The software will automatically record the procedure that was used to generate a DNA construct, together with the multi- generation histories of the precursor constructs.
Aim #3 : To prevent common errors in DNA cloning while educating users about efficient cloning methods. The software will be uniquely designed to prevent cloning errors. An uncluttered but information- rich interface will help users to visualize the steps of their cloning projects, while text messages and optional explanatory notes will teach beginners how to clone effectively.
By making the everyday procedure of DNA cloning faster and more reliable, this software will enhance many aspects of biomedical research and development, thereby improving public health. ? ? ? ?