Back Specimens

Shadows from the Tables of Death
(a.k.a Randomized Mutant Libraries)

In molecular biology, a library is a collection of DNA fragments that is stored and propagated in a population of micro-organisms through the process of molecular cloning. There are different types of DNA libraries, including cDNA libraries, genomic libraries and randomized mutant libraries. DNA library technology is a mainstay of current molecular biology, and the applications of these libraries depends on the source of the original DNA fragments. As the population of organisms is grown in culture, the DNA molecules contained within them are copied and propagated (thus, "cloned").

The expressed proteins can then be screened for variants which exhibit favourable properties. Typically the properties that are to be improved by screening a randomized mutant library are the binding affinity of antibodies or other protein-protein interactions, the activity of enzymes, or the stability of a protein. Multiple cycles of creating gene variants and screening the expression products are typically involved in directed evolution experiments.*

This library was compiled in for Laural Schwult's Interactive Design course at Yale, the week of January 22. It was inspired, in part, by Shadows from the Walls of Death. To see a long list of loose ends and indecision, here is the process.