Dynamic DNA Labs: Plasmids Explained
Dynamic DNA Labs offers a wide range of processes and research that we can perform. We are a fully functioning genetics lab and we are certified by CLIA and accredited by the College of American Pathologists. We are expertly trained and experienced in cellular, molecular, and microbiological needs. One molecular test our experts perform is DNA plasmid transfections. So what exactly are plasmids? Our experts explain.
What is a Plasmid?
At their most basic level, plasmids are small circular pieces of DNA that replicate independently from the host’s chromosomal DNA. Plasmids are mainly found in bacteria, but also exist naturally in archaea and eukaryotes such as yeast and plants. Plasmids utilized in a lab are usually artificial and designed to introduce foreign DNA into another cell. Minimally, lab-created plasmids have an origin of replication, a selection marker, and a cloning site. The ease of modifying plasmids and the ability of plasmids to self-replicate with a cell make them attractive tools for life scientists and bioengineers.
How is a Plasmid Constructed in a Lab?
Due to their artificial nature, lab plasmids are commonly referred to as “vectors” or “constructs.” To insert a gene of interest into a vector, scientists may utilize one of a variety of cloning methods. The cloning method is ultimately chosen based on the plasmid you want to clone into. Once the cloning steps are complete, the vector containing the newly inserted gene is transformed into bacterial cells and selectively grown on antibiotic plates.
How Do Scientists Use Plasmids?
Generally, scientists use plasmids to manipulate gene expression in target cells. Characteristics such as flexibility, versatility, safety, and cost-effectiveness enable molecular biologists to broadly utilize plasmids across a wide range of applications. Some common types include cloning plasmids, expression plasmids, gene knock-down plasmids, reporter plasmids, and viral plasmids.
Genetic Laboratories at Dynamic DNA Labs
The scientific staff of Dynamic DNA Labs has over 30 years of experience in research, testing, pathology, and crime laboratories. They are expertly trained and experienced in cellular, molecular, and microbiological needs. Contact Dynamic DNA Labs to see how we can help you.