“Dear Tech Serv,
We would like to detect DNA collected from swabs rubbed on the inside thighs of frogs. What would be the best DNA extraction kit to use for this?”
“Hi Tech Serv,
I need to find out a suitable kit for extracting DNA from bird fecal samples. Can I use ReliaPrep™ gDNA Tissue Miniprep System for that?”
These are just some examples of unconventional sample type inquiries that the Promega Technical Services Team receives regularly from scientists around the world. Many of these inquiries land in the hands of Technical Services Scientist, Paraj Mandrekar (a.k.a. “sample type guru”).
Before Paraj joined the Technical Services Team, he had 15 years of R&D experience in working with all kinds of sample types, especially those involved in forensic casework. Need to extract DNA from blood on denim, leather, cotton sheet or carpet? How about saliva on envelopes or cigarettes? He’s your guy. Once, he was asked to isolate DNA from deer blood in a plastic bag with the deer’s head and vomit—definitely not your everyday sample. He was able to modify the purification method to get the job done. (Somewhere, he has an acknowledgement in an article about deer populations.)
When Paraj joined Technical Services, he took on the task of building a formal training module for Technical Advising in Nucleic Acids. This training was designed to help other technical services scientists identify which features of a method will best fit specific sample types. So when you call (or live chat, or email) Tech Serv about your favorite (sometimes crazy) sample type, they will know which kit to recommend and suggest modifications if needed.
And we have a lot of genomic DNA purification kits.
We have kits designed specifically for samples types such as mouse tails, food samples, plant leaves and seeds, whole blood, FFPE tissue samples and bacteria DNA from food samples. Some kits are suitable for a large variety of samples types. For example, the Wizard® Genomic DNA Purification Kit works for all kinds of samples, including beetles, frog skin, fish fins and antelope blood. If you’re dealing with a larger number of samples, we also have a collection of kits that work with our Maxwell® RSC Instruments—compact, automated nucleic acid purification platforms that can process up to 16 samples (Maxwell® RSC 16) or 48 samples (Maxwell® RSC 48) at once.
Odds are, no matter what sample type you work with, we have the right kit for you—and we will help you find it. If you have questions about which kit to use for your sample, please don’t hesitate to contact our Technical Services Team.
What unconventional samples have you worked with? Tell us about them!