U27111 at uicvm.uic.edu U27111 at uicvm.uic.edu
Tue Jan 2 02:47:27 EST 1996

bgold at itsa.ucsf.edu (Bert Gold) wrote on 31 Dec 1995 15:27:20 GMT:

>The E. coli genetics stock center at Yale, the mutant mouse
>collection at Jackson Labs in Bar Harbor, Maine and the American
>Type Culture Collection in Rockville, Maryland are all examples of

Well... sorry, but here I may have to disagree.

I don't really think that ATCC really works as well as it could.
...either that, or most people just tend to ignore what they say?

Probably both.

For there is a *major* problem in our community with cross-cell
contaminations... and in one sense ATCC propagates this problem by
not informing people enough about the consequences and in
reality... has become just as political as NIH/NCI etc. in dealing
with it, ie. they tend to mostly ignore it.

A good example is the WISH cell line.  I've come across at least
two people who had no idea this cell line is actually a HeLa-
derivative cell line and has the capacity of very easily
contaminating other cell lines growing in your lab.  [older
researchers may remember this cell line - but younger/new ones have
not been informed!]

This cell line is not marked in big red letters 'HeLa CONTAMINATED
- WARNING'... it's more of a subliminal message of inconsistent
chromosomal banding (which is more consistent with HeLa's).  *And*
it's in the certified section of the catalogue if I recall

Thus... we have people buying it totally ignorant of the
consequences (and what this banding description really means) and
contaminating other lines in their labs...I've seen this!.

They also don't bother to run a medline and read up on the cell
lines they are buying!

There are a few more examples I could cite...

Also... ATCC sell and makes available uncertified cell lines.  And
most people working in cell culture don't even know the
difference.. and buys it not even bothering to wonder if it is
really the cell line it says it is.

What has happened to certifying cell lines and making sure stocks
are 'clean' for others to use?

No... I think some of this problem falls upon ATCC's shoulders to
set some newer standards in our field... which, they tend not to

Again... this re-emphases my thoughts/ideas on certified
technicians and accredited labs (even at ATCC!).


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