New DNA synthesis technique promises rapid, high-fidelity DNA printing

(University of California – Berkeley) Today, DNA is synthesized as an organic chemist would, using toxic chemicals and error-prone steps that limit accuracy and thus length to about 200 base pairs. UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab researchers have adapted a human enzyme that makes DNA in water to a repetitive process for adding base pairs. Initial tests show that the technique promises to make oligonucleotides 10 times longer, the size of small genes, faster, cheaper and without toxic waste.