In this paper we propose an efficient (string) OT1n scheme for any n > 2. We build our OT1n scheme from fundamental cryptographic techniques directly. It achieves optimal efficiency in terms of the number of rounds and the total number of exchanged messages for the case that the receiver's choice is unconditionally secure. The computation time of our OT1nscheme is very efficient, too. The receiver need compute 2 modular exponentiations only no matter how large n is, and the sender need compute 2n modular exponentiations. The distinct feature of our scheme is that the system-wide parameters are independent of n and universally usable, that is, all possible receivers and senders use the same parameters and need no trapdoors specific to each of them. For our OT1nscheme, the privacy of the receiver's choice is unconditionally secure and the secrecy of the un-chosen secrets is based on hardness of the decisional Diffie-Hellman problem. We extend our OT1nscheme to distributed oblivious transfer schemes. Our distributed OT1nscheme takes full advantage of the research results of secret sharing and is conceptually simple. It achieves better security than Naor and Pinkas's scheme does in many aspects. For example, our scheme is secure against collusion of the receiver R and t-1 servers and it need not restrict R to contact at most t servers, which is difficult to enforce. For applications, we present a method of transforming any singledatabase PIR protocol into a symmetric PIR protocol with only one extra unit of communication cost.