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Dispatches from the Lab

After spending the last couple of years in front of a computer or in the fly room, I finally returned to the wet lab last week. The occasion: DNA isolation. Now, this isn’t any ole’ DNA isolation protocol. That would be too easy. Instead, I need some high molecular weight DNA, which means it takes a few days from start to finish with lots of centrifugation throughout.

Because I need lots of high quality DNA, I need a fair bit of tissue. This wouldn’t be much of a problem if I were working with an organism with a substantial body mass. Alas, I work with Drosophila, and they’re tiny. That means I need to do some major fly pimpin':

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Once I’ve pimped up enough flies, I get to grind ‘em up, spin ‘em around, and isolate their DNA. The best part of the protocol, though, is that I get multiple opportunities to cut plasticware with hot razor blade:

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Comments

  1. #1 apalazzo
    September 18, 2006

    The best part of the protocol, though, is that I get multiple opportunities to cut plasticware with hot razor blade.

    That’s what we call cowboy science.

  2. #2 sparc
    September 18, 2006

    You could reduce your costs by the method described in one of my favourite papers (freely available):
    Bahl A, Pfenninger M. A rapid method of DNA isolation using laundry detergent.
    Nucleic Acids Res. 1996 Apr 15;24(8):1587-8

  3. #3 RPM
    September 18, 2006

    sparc, I’ve tried some other methods for DNA isolation, but they don’t yield the same quality DNA I get from a CsCl extraction. Plus, this is the only one in which I get to cut plastic with a hot razor blade.

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