Answers

1.   Why should I outsource synthesis of my gene?
 

The key advantages of producing genes synthetically are the following:

  • Less expensive than traditional cloning —saves money.
  • Is typically quicker than cloning, saving time. Plus outsourcing means that your lab personnel can spend their time on other projects while your gene is being produced.
  • Gene synthesis eliminates the design restrictions required in traditional cloning. Almost any DNA sequence can be synthesized.
  • Gene synthesis provides access to DNA templates that do not exist in nature.


2.   What is gene optimization and how does it differ from codon optimization?

Our proprietary GeneOptimizer® software calculates the optimal DNA sequence needed to encode the protein of interest (gene optimization). Adapting the codon usage of the gene to the codon preferences of the expression organism (codon optimization) is just one of the parameters addressed. The GeneOptimizer® software currently evaluates up to 50 factors that can compromise mRNA stability, such as extreme GC content, ribosomal binding sites, consensus and cryptic splice sites, repeats, and secondary structures. Increased numbers of stable mRNA molecules often lead to higher yields of protein.


3.   What does your gene synthesis service include?

GeneArt® Gene Synthesis Service includes gene optimization (if requested), synthesis of the DNA, cloning into our standard vector, and delivery of 5 µg of lyophilized DNA plus a compact disc of the in silico analysis and quality control information.

 
4.   Can I have my gene delivered in my vector?

Yes. We can subclone your gene into a vector you provide. You will receive 5 µg each of your gene in a GeneArt® cloning vector and in your vector (plus the quality control information for both constructs).


5.   What information do you need in order to provide a price estimate?

For GeneArt® gene synthesis, we need the DNA or amino acid sequence of the gene you would like to receive, the host organism you plan to use (this is important for gene optimization if you choose to include it with your request), the restriction sites you need at the 5’/3’ ends and/or to avoid internally, and whether or not you want any other added motifs (e.g., Kozak sequence, stop codons, etc.).


6.   Describe the details of your site-directed mutagenesis services.

Variants may contain up to four of the following modifications:

  • 5'/3' deletion of any length with additional 52 nt of new sequence on each side
  • 5'/3' modification of maximum 52 nt on each side
  • 5'/3' extension of maximum 52 nt on each side
  • Internal modifications of up to 40 nt (a maximum of 3 of these internal modification blocks are allowed)
  • Internal deletions of any length
  • Modifications (whether internal or 5´/3´) have to be separated by at least 100 bp

Answers

1. Where can I find the expected finish date for my order?
It is displayed both on your order confirmation (see “DATE” column under each line item), and in your personal GeneObserver® system link.
 

2. Do you guarantee delivery times?
Our production times are estimated based on our experience with over 100,000 constructs. 95% of our projects are shipped on schedule; however, since we are working in a biological system, delays occur occasionally.
 

3. Will I receive my order on the date shown on my order confirmation?
No, the date on your order confirmation is the “finish date” when your project is shipped from our facilities. Shipment time varies with your location and shipment terms.


4. My gene synthesis was complete a few days ago, but it hasn't been shipped yet. Why?
Our logistics center software is configured to prioritize shipments for on-time delivery. Shipment of finished orders is initiated as soon as possible; at the very latest, they are shipped on the date agreed upon initially.
  

5. How can I request an additional shipment of constructs you have made for me in the past?
Please email GeneArt® customer support and provide the GeneArt® reference numbers of your finished constructs. Extra charges may apply for additional shipments.
 

6. In the GeneObserver® system, I see that synthesis of my gene has been stuck at X% for a while. What does this mean?
GeneObserver® system percent-complete rates are not linear, but indicate actual steps in the production process. It is normal for your project status to pause at certain stages for a few days. If the percent indicator stays the same for >5 business days, please contact GeneArt® customer support for an update.
 

7. If my project is delayed, can I obtain a new estimated finish date?
We make every effort to finish every project in a timely manner. However, even with our highly automated production process, occasionally it is necessary to repeat certain steps or resynthesize sub-elements of gene synthesis projects. GeneArt® production adheres to a rigorous set of standard operating procedures for both production and troubleshooting. We work on every project on a daily basis, but predicting new finish times is often difficult. Most delays can be resolved within 3–4 business days. If your project is delayed by more than one week, please contact GeneArt® customer support for information on current production status and delivery estimates.


8. Where can I find a link for the GeneObserver® online project tracking system?

A GeneObserver® system link can be found both on your order confirmation document and as a tab in your online customer portal account.
  

9. In the GeneObserver® system, it looks like production of my gene variant is outpacing that of my master template. Is that correct?

Generally, the oligonucleotides needed to produce a variant are synthesized in parallel to finalization of the master template. Therefore, the GeneObserver® system recognizes production start of the variant and thus indicates a synthesis status.
 

10. My Order Confirmation states "14 days commercial terms." What does that mean?

This phrase indicates the payment terms for the order; it does not indicate production time.
 

11. Why is SuperSPEED gene synthesis more expensive if delivery time is not guaranteed?
SuperSPEED synthesis uses different assembly technology and several layers of redundancy in project setup to ensure high reliability. SuperSPEED synthesis cannot be directly compared to our standard construction technology.
  

12. Will I have to pay for SuperSPEED if gene is delayed?
In the event that a SuperSPEED order is delayed by one day, the surcharge is taken off the order, and you will only be charged routine synthesis rates.
 

13. Where can I find the complete sequence of my construct?
The complete sequence of your construct is stored on the CD that accompanies each shipment. Complete sequence display in the online customer portal is planned for the future.
 

14. Where can I download the sequence of the vector backbone of your standard vectors?
You can download sequence information on our standard vectors from the “home” tab of the online customer portal. Please be aware that the backbone sequence of delivered standard vectors is subject to slight changes and is not guaranteed to be 100% identical to the sequence available for download.
1. I requested a new password via the 'forgot password' button, but an email did not arrive, how can I get a new password?
The system sends an email just a few minutes after you request a new password. If you haven’t received the email, please check your spam folder first, then repeat your new password request, in case you mistyped your email on your first attempt.
 

2. I registered, but never received an activation email. Who can I contact?
Please contact GeneArt® customer support and we will be happy to help.

 
3. I registered and received the activation link, but the portal still asks me to activate my account. What should I do?
Please contact GeneArt® customer support for help.


4. How do I upload more than 5 sequences? Is there a bulk import tool?
We recommend that you complete one master gene synthesis form (including any additional services such as subcloning and plasmid preparation that will be included for all of your gene synthesis projects). You can then copy and paste this project and exchange the gene sequence in the copied forms.
 

5. What is a PO number?
A PO number is a purchase order number, assigned by many institutions for accounting purposes. If your organization does not issue PO numbers, you don't need to enter one.

6. I don’t have a credit card; do I need one to purchase GeneArt® Services?
No, you can also pay by direct invoicing followed by check or wire transfer payment. If your organization uses internal reference or purchase order numbers, please enter the number in the appropriate field when placing your order.
 

7. When I submit a gene sequence, will it be automatically ordered?
No, submitting a gene only results in a request for a quote. We try to provide cost and production time estimates within 24 hours. To place an order, you will need to acknowledge the quote you receive by pressing the ORDER button.
 

8. Does generating a draft in my account automatically send a request for a quote?
No, you need to SUBMIT a request to obtain a cost/production time estimate. If you SAVE your draft, your project will be saved online.
 

9. Can I cancel a project once I have created it and pressed the SUBMIT button?
No, but we can cancel a project for you. Just respond to the email we send you with your quote and let us know that you want to cancel your project.
 

10. What is an EIN number?
EIN stands for employer identification number, and is the tax identification number for your institution. Your accounting department should know the EIN for your organization.


11. How can I modify the sequence I submitted?
If you want to modify your sequence before you have received a quote, please email GeneArt® customer support from the email address associated with your account. To modify projects after a quote has been generated, please log in, navigate to the project you want to modify, and use the REVISION button.
 

12. What are the browser requirements for use of this tool?
For best performance, please use Firefox 3.6 or Internet Explorer 7.

Other compatible browsers/versions are Internet Explorer 6.x with Service Pack 3 (SP3), Internet Explorer 8, and Safari v5.0.

If you are experiencing IE 6 issues and are unable to upgrade or switch to a compatible browser, please use our Customized Service to place your order using the following icon:



You may also contact us at:

Europe
phone: +49 (0)941 942 76-100

North America
phone: +1-877-720-4363
geneartsupport@lifetech.com


13. I tried to log in, but nothing happens.
It is possible that you are trying to log on to our old customer portal. Please use our new system; orders can no longer be processed through our former ordering portal.


14. I have used the old customer portal in the past. Can I transfer my projects to the new portal?
Unfortunately, no, the old portal is not compatible with the new version. Your data will remain accessible for a certain amount of time, but it cannot be transferred to the new portal.


15. How do I set up Life Technologies as a new Vendor?
The information you need can be found on our Vendor Setup page.