Plasmid and Cloning Questions

What is the SnapFast system and how does it work?
Where do I find the sequences and maps of a SnapFast plasmid and insert?
How can I confirm the orientation of my insert if I use only one insertion site?
How have you removed unwanted restriction sites? Does it change the efficiency of translation?
What is the insert size capacity of the SnapFast system?
How accurate are the maps and sequences on this site?
What should you do if you think the DNA you have bought is incorrect?
What are the fusion sites BsgI and BseRI?
Do you have any protocols to help with cloning?

Ordering from Oxford Genetics

How can I pay for a plasmid?
Where do you ship to?
Are your products IATA regulated and will you provide the required documentation?
How can I provide your details to my administrators, so they can put Oxford Genetics on our system and raise an order to send you?
How will my DNA be shipped and how much will be delivered?
How long will my order take to process, ship and deliver?
Who does Oxford Genetics supply?
If I order the wrong plasmid, can I exchange it?

Intellectual Property

What is your policy on Intellectual Property?
Is the SnapFastTM sytem patent protected?
Can I send my plasmids to other laboratories?

DNA Synthesis and Custom Cloning

What length genes can you synthesize?
Can you make a gene with high GC content or repeats?
Is my Intellectual Property protected?
If you dont have the gene or insert I want, can I request it?
Can you clone my gene?
What plasmid will my gene be cloned into?
Can I have my gene delivered in my own vector?
Can you make complex plasmids expressing multiple transgenes?

 

What is the SnapFastTM system and how does it work?

Please visit our SnapFastTM concept page for detailed information.

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Where do I find the sequences and maps of a SnapFast plasmid and insert?

The vector sequence can be found on the individual product pages for each plasmid in both the PDF and text files. If you require the sequence in any other format please do not hesitate to contact us.

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How can I confirm the orientation of my insert if I use only one insertion site?

We recommend, where possible, using the closest unique restriction sites that flank the DNA you want to insert. Because all our inserts are provided in the same backbone, pSF-Core, any sites that are external to the DNA insert you want to use should be compatible with your current vector, provided the insertion doesn't interfere with the gene or expression system you have already developed using our system. 

If no unique sites are available then we recommend using the paired restriction sites that directly flank your insert. After ligation, restriction digestion of your clones should reveal a band size unique to your new inserted region. We are also developing primers that can be used to determine the orientation of any insert that is inserted into a single site by PCR, please contact us for further details on these primers if required. If you do not have these primers, we recommend sequencing a subset of those clones that are showing the presence of the correct band, this should determine your fragments orientation. For a range of pre-designed sequencing primers please see the lower left menu on our site. 

For many of our inserts, the orientation will not affect the insert function (e.g for bacterial selection markers and origins of replication), however, we recommend determining the orientation of your insert by sequencing to ensure sequence integrity and to allow you to build accurate plasmid maps for future research.

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How have you removed unwanted restriction sites? Does it change the efficiency of translation?

The 20 naturally-occurring amino acids are encoded by 61 triplet codons, and most amino acids can be encoded by at least two different codons. Hence we can normally remove restriction sites from DNA sequences without changing the protein encoded. We routinely do this on the genes we sell and we always exchange for codons that are more frequently used in eukaryotes and prokaryotes where possible.

Most of the changes to the DNA sequences that we sell have been performed by either de novo DNA synthesis of a specific DNA sequence, or site directed mutagenesis. All of our genes are fully sequenced and tested for expression and activity before they enter our catalogue.

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What is the insert size capacity of the SnapFast system?

In theory, there are very few restrictions. However, each vector does have a packaging limit that is dependent on the bacterial origin of replication you have inserted into your plasmid. If you wish to increase the size of your plasmid significantly you may wish to insert a lower copy number origin of replication or a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC). To find the approximate upper limits of the origin of replication you currently have, please go to the product page for bacterial origins of replication.   

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How accurate are the maps and sequences on this site?

We pride ourselves on providing high-quality DNA containing exactly the sequence you want. If you have any problems with our sequences or vectors, please contact us immediately. All of the DNA batches of our core vectors are sequenced in both directions throughout the entire vector prior to sale.

For vectors that contain sections designed to be inserted into the SnapFastTM system, only the insert region may have been sequenced in both directions, although they will have been originally produced from a fully sequenced core vector. For a selection of pre-designed and tested primer sequences to assess a portion of your vector by sequencing please click here

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What should you do if you think the DNA you have bought is incorrect?

If you believe your DNA is incorrect then please contact us immediately. Where possible please try to include as much information about the tests you have performed, including any gel images and diagnostic restriction digests, and explain why you suspect there may be a mistake.

Please remember that restriction enzymes can expire and wear out. They can also produce STAR activity, leading to miscellaneous bands. Please try to confirm this is not the problem if possible. If you are still confident that the DNA you have is incorrect please contact us without hesitation.     

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What are the fusion sites BsgI and BseRI?

The fusion sites are a unique feature of the SnapFastTM system that allows you to fuse sequences to any gene that we sell in the main multiple cloning site. They work by cutting within the stop codon of the gene and allowing the direct ligation of a range of other DNA sequences to the gene as fusion coding sequences. We will be providing a dedicated page that explains this feature in further detail in the near future.

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Do you have any protocols to help with cloning?

Yes, we have developed a protocol/training website with a broad range of cloning protocols – please go to http://www.dnalabbook.co.uk/ for more information.

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How can I pay for a plasmid?

Our checkout accepts orders for invoiced payments (to your company or university) or you can pay by major credit card, debit card, wire transfer or PayPal. When you are paying by credit card, you will need to select ‘Don’t have a paypal account’ when the shop sends you into the Paypal site. By selecting this option you should be able to pay without using a Paypal account.

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Where do you ship to?

We ship our plasmids via FedEx globally. Delivery times are normally 2-3 days after we post hte item, which normally happens within 24 hours from purchase.

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Are your products IATA regulated and will you provide the required documentation?

All of our products are non-toxic, non-hazardous and non-infectious; hence they are not covered by any of the dangerous goods regulations. All plasmids are provided with a Material Safety Documentation Sheet (MSDS) and the appropriate customs documentation.

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How can I provide your details to my administrators, so they can put Oxford Genetics on our system and raise an order to send you?

Please find our bank details and registered address here.

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How will my DNA be shipped and how much will be delivered?

Usually our DNA is shipped either lyophilized or in TE solution in a 2ml polypropylene tube. Our standard shipping quantity is 5µg, more can be provided on request. 

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How long will my order take to process, ship and deliver?

We will attempt to process any plasmid orders and ship within 24-48 hours. If there is a delay we will try to contact you as soon as possible.

Delivery times are largely dependent on your location. Currently, we are based entirely in the UK and so overseas deliveries may take up to two weeks. Oxford Genetics has a number of international distributors, including Millipore-Sigma.     

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Who does Oxford Genetics supply?

We supply any laboratory or research institution and we will ship globally. We are currently supplying some of the UKs largest research facilities and biotechnology companies. However, for some viral sequences we are more limited in our distribution policy. Please contact us if the product you want is unavailable online.

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If I order the wrong plasmid, can I exchange it?

We pride ourselves on being flexible. Whether you can change your product depends largely on what the mistake was. If you purchased a particular variant but actually wish you had bought another variant then we can usually swap it if you ordered it within the last 28 days.

If you have bought a plasmid that is designed for a completely different purpose to the one you have purchased then we may not be able to swap it without good justification. If the insert you bought was flanked by the wrong restriction sites we should be able to change it provided you bought it within the last 28 days.  

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What is your policy on Intellectual Property?

We operate an IP-friendly policy to maximise our usefulness for corporate customers. We claim no reach through rights on derivatives you may make using the plasmids we sell (unless you are a competing plasmid manufacturer, or unless we are obliged to because the plasmid contains someone else’s IP). See here for full details.

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Is the SnapFastTM sytem patent protected?

Yes, but most of our vectors can be used for free by for-profit organisations. 

We have patent pending on the SnapFastTM concept and system as well as the sequence of the core vector. Our patents are there to protect our materials from being re-created, or sold on, by other organisations, not so that we can charge licence fees. Most of our vectors are free to use to produce reagents for profit (provided you are not a plasmid sales company). There are some exceptions where other third party organisations impose restrictions on the sequences we sell. When this is the case it will be clearly written on the detailed product sheet. If you have a specific question relating to intellectual property, please do not hesitate to contact us

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Can I send my SnapFastTM vectors and inserts to other laboratories?

We appreciate that it is in the spirit of academia to share vectors and DNA, however, we are trying hard to keep our cost low to allow us to provide DNA to you at the lowest possible price. The majority of the profits produced from SnapFastTM sales are re-distributed into various avenues of development and research to allow increased versatility and to increase the range of compatible inserts and genes we sell. If we encourage the widespread sharing of our un-modifed vectors and inserts it would make it very difficult for us to continue to develop and distribute our DNA at a reasonable cost, and the price of your future purchases may increase accordingly.

We believe it is in both our, and your, interest not to share our core vectors and inserts, unless they contain novel sequences not stocked by us. We do not object to the distribution of novel modified inserts or core vectors but would ask you to inform us of any modification you think other researchers might be interested in. We may then be able to provide the same modified insert or vector to other researchers through our site. This also streamlines on material transfer agreements, which we try to avoid.    

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What length genes can you synthesize?

Anything from 100bp up to 3 kilobases. Anything above or below this can still be synthesised but there may be a surcharge associated with it.

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Can you make a gene with high GC content or repeats?

Yes, these sequences can be made but there may be a complexity charge if the GC content is very high or highly repetitive.

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Is my Intellectual Property protected?

Yes, any sequences we synthesise are entirely your own and have no reach through rights on any DNA we synthesise.

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If you don't have the gene or insert I want, can I request it?

Yes, we encourage this, but there are few things to bear in mind. We can theoretically make any plasmid you might want, however, the cost will be determined by the plasmids complexity. However, if you are planning to make a plasmid that might be useful to other researchers, and you are happy for us to add it to our catalgoue, we will normally only charge you the price it costs us to make it. Please contact us for a quote.

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Can you clone my gene?
Yes, we often clone our customers genes into our plasmids after synthesis. We have also made custom plasmids for specific research purposes that contain multiple genes expressed in a variety of configurations.

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What plasmid will my gene be cloned into?

If you choose to simply use our DNA synthesis service then the gene will be cloned into a standard pBlueScript or pUC19 plasmid. If you would like your gene cloning into one of our product catalogue, this will normally cost around £150 more.

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Can I have my gene delivered in my own vector? 

We generally do not clone genes into other plasmids than our own. This is because the cost is much higher because we have not previously worked with these plasmids and we cannot be sure of their performance. For this reason we generally only work with our own plasmids, but we can modify them in a range of ways to suit your research needs at a reasonable cost.

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Can you make complex plasmids expressing multiple transgenes?

We regularly make plasmids that contain multiple genes. Often the backbone into which these genes are inserted is also expresing a reporter gene or mammalian selectable marker. If you have a project in mind that requires a complicated expression system, please contact us and we will happily try to advise you on the available strategies.

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Not answered your question? Let us know by going to our Contact Us page and clicking on the relevant contact link.