History of the DNA Resource Core
The DNA Resource Core started in the spring of 1999 as a direct result of the planning processes for the DF/HCC and was originally called the High-Throughput DNA Sequencing Core. The Executive Planning Committee recognized a growing need in the community for DNA sequencing at a cost that was affordable for academic research labs. The Core became one of the first facilities in the world to obtain an ABI 3700 automated capillary sequencing instrument and began processing samples by the fall of 1999. The Core was fully operational by the spring of 2000 and received funding from the DF/HCC grant in July of that year. In 2001, the Core obtained a second ABI 3700 automated sequencing instrument, enabling the Core to both increase capacity and limit down-time that had occurred during equipment maintenance and repair. In 2006, the Core retired its ABI 3700 instruments and obtained two ABI 3730xl's, which are operating near capacity now.
Over the past eight years, the Core has continued to grow and support the DF/HCC and Harvard community with attention to user-friendly service and quality control, and the Core currently provides outstanding DNA sequencing services at the lowest cost for a DNA sequencing center in the Boston area (with discounts for DF/HCC Members). Currently, the Core sequences close to 200,000 samples per year and is serving over 5000 users in 530 different laboratories both within the DF/HCC community and at other institutions, including MIT and the Whitehead Institute.
In spring 2004, plasmid repository services were added to the DNA Resource Core to reduce the burden on individual labs to store, maintain and distribute plasmid clones and supporting information. To store these plasmids the DNA Resource Core purchased an automated sample retrieval system. This unique robotic system allows storage of 160,000 clones at 80°C in specialized plates that contain 96 individual, 2D-barcoded tubes. The associated software tracks specific clones and their barcodes within the system and manages a picking unit that can retrieve any desired set of clones from their specific plates. By managing the clones in individual tubes instead of standard 96-well plates, this avoids the need to thaw an entire 96-well plate in order to retrieve a single clone. The Core is the first academic center worldwide to employ this state-of-the-art equipment.
The PlasmID repository currently contains over 270,000 plasmids, including collections produced by the Harvard Institute of Proteomics, the Human ORFeome Consortium, as well as plasmids deposited by individual researchers. The Core has also recently acquired the The RNAi Collection (TRC), which contains over 150,000 shRNAs, are now being distributed to researchers at Harvard University and its affiliates. Besides storage of these plasmids in a state of the art automated freezer system, we also maintain a database containing detailed annotation of each plasmid that can be accessed by users through our website. In 2007, the PlasmID repository filled 500 requests for over 4,800 plasmids from researchers around the world. In 2008, the ability to purchase plasmids online using a credit card has been added to our services, a feature we also added for the sequencing services in 2009.
The DNA Resource Core offers the following core services
- Sample preparation from glycerol stocks or bacteria pellets
- Sequencing with user-supplied or free core-supplied primers
- Turn around time of 24 hours from sample arrival to result download for next day sequencing
- Same day sequenicng: no more than eight hours of turn around time from sample arrival to data retrieval
- No charge for re-runs of failed sequencing reactions to test for potential sequencing problems originating at the facility
- Competitive prices with discounts for DF/HCC members
- Sequence data and quality reports available on secure website
- New users are always welcome and special pricing is available for large batch orders.
For more information about our services click here.
To begin sequencing visit the Login Page to learn how to set up an account and log in.
- Storage and distribution of plasmid clones
- DNA sequencing of deposited plasmids
- Searchable database of plasmid information
- Automated system to store clones with standard procedures for quality control
- Assistance with MTAs, including our expedited MTA process
- Searching our database and storing clones are free
- Competitive prices for clone purchases with discounts for DF/HCC members
For more information visit our website PlasmID for information on how to deposit or order clones.
If you're uncertain whether you are part of a DF/HCC member laboratory, please click here to learn about the center and membership, or to search the member directory.
Although we are funded as a DF/HCC Core, our services are open to the entire scientific community.
The DNA Resource Core Facilities
The DNA Resource Core is located in the LHRRB building at 240 Longwood Avenue at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. The facility is committed to implementing automation to increase throughput and facilitate quality control in all aspects of core services.
The DNA Sequencing core has two 48-capillary ABI 3730 DNA Analyzers.
This state of the art liquid handling robot is fully integrated into the DNA sequencing process by handling DNA cleanups after sequencing reactions in a 96-well format.
This automated storage system holds 160,000 different samples at -80°C. Each sample is in an individual tube with a unique 2-D barcode on the bottom, which is tracked by our online PlasmID database.