Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Test For Safer Biomedical Research Results

Date:
August 29, 2009
Source:
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Summary:
In biomedical research with living cells in the culture dish, contamination with bacteria, viruses or other fast-growing cells is always a risk. Scientists have now developed a test system for fast and cost-effective detection of such contaminations. The new method will contribute to making biomedical research results safer and reproducible.

In biomedical research with living cells in the culture dish, contamination with bacteria, viruses or other fast-growing cells is always a risk. Scientists have now developed a test system for fast and cost-effective detection of such contaminations. The new method will contribute to making biomedical research results safer and reproducible.

In cancer research, as in most other biomedical sciences, they are playing a key role: living cells, kept in sterile plastic containers with red culture media populating incubators in laboratories around the world. But do researchers always know what is really living in their culture dishes?

Under the microscope, different cell lines are almost impossible to distinguish from each other. When these important research objects stop growing without apparent reason – is it because of the manipulations by the scientists or because of an invisible viral or bacterial infection?

Contaminations with other cell lines or pathogenic agents are a common and well-known problem. Often they are the reason why cell experiments fail to produce useable or reproducible results. Even worse, laboratory staff can get infected with dangerous pathogens from a cell culture.

To make those important cell culture experiments safer, DKFZ researchers Dr. Markus Schmitt and Dr. Michael Pawlita have developed a test which is able to identify 37 different cell contaminations in a single run. The researchers have tested the system in over 700 samples from different research labs and have now published their results.

The method called "Multiplex cell Contamination Test" (McCT) detects not only wide-spread viruses but also a number of mycoplasmas, which are considered the major contaminators of cell cultures. In addition, the test checks the cells for their origin. Thus, if dog genetic material is found in what are supposed to be monkey cells, then a contamination of the cell culture is obvious. The test also includes detection of commonly used standard cell lines. Contamination with the fast-growing cancer cell line HeLa, for example, is a dreaded source of false results.

Pawlita and Schmitt found contaminations in a high percentage of cell samples. Twenty-two percent of tested cultures were contaminated with one of the various types of the parasitic bacterium called mycoplasma. "What we noticed about the results," says Markus Schmitt, "was that contaminations were frequent in some laboratories, while others sent in cultures that were constantly clean. Thus, care in laboratory work seems to play an important role."

The test is highly specific and needs no more than ten copies of foreign DNA in the cell sample to be positive. This is a sensitivity which is comparable to or even higher than those of previously available commercial mycoplasma tests. McCT results are reproducible to 99.6 percent. The method is based on multiplication of specific DNA sequences by polymerase chain reaction and subsequent detection of the multiplied DNA regions. A special advantage of the new test is that it can be carried out on a high-throughput basis. The DKFZ researchers can manage up to 1,000 tests per week.

Schmitt und Pawlita offer the service to external scientists and research institutes via the Steinbeis Transfer Center "Multiplexion", a DKFZ spin-off.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Schmitt et al. High-throughput detection and multiplex identification of cell contaminations. Nucleic Acids Research, 2009; DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkp581

Cite This Page:

Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "New Test For Safer Biomedical Research Results." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090730103735.htm>.
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. (2009, August 29). New Test For Safer Biomedical Research Results. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090730103735.htm
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "New Test For Safer Biomedical Research Results." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090730103735.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins