Cross-contamination of cell cultures?

Ian A. York iayork at
Wed Apr 28 08:42:34 EST 2004

In article <8af8ecf.0404280538.387cbdc7 at>,
Peter Frank <peter_frankde at> wrote:
>Is there any way to confirm my assumption? Is there any way to get rid
>of the cross-contamination?

Cross-contamination of cell lines is relatively common and has been the 
cause of some embarassing retractions.  It's hard for me to picture how it 
happens, but it certainly can happen.  

To confirm your assumption you'd want to check out how the cell lines are 
different.  Is one from male, one from female? Check the Y chromosome 
content in each cell type.  Is one aneuploid?  Do they have different 
surface markers?  

To get rid of the cross-contamination, probably the easiest thing is 
limiting dilution subcloning.  

    Ian York   (iayork at  <>
    "-but as he was a York, I am rather inclined to suppose him a
     very respectable Man." -Jane Austen, The History of England

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