hakes hakes at
Fri May 24 15:04:15 EST 1991

ALSOBROOK at yalemed.bitnet writes:

>I would like the network participants' opinion of a recent experience we
>had in requesting an aliquot of a DNA clone; the sequence was published
>several years ago in Nature. We wrote the authors requesting an aliquot,
>and described the experiments we intended to do.  One month later we
>received via US mail (50 cents postage
>on the envelope) an eppendorf with 4 or 5 ul, and a letter which stated
>"Incidentally, there is a charge of $50.00 to cover the cost of
>handling. Please make your check payable to ...".  I've only been in
>molecular biology for 8 or 9 years, but I've NEVER seen ANYONE ask this
>sort of fee for one (count them, 1) clone.  Does this sound ridiculous
>to anyone else? How could handling cost anywhere near that much? I would
>really appreciate hearing from anyone with an opinion or similar
>                John Alsobrook
>                Yale University School of Medicine
>                Child Study Center
>                bitnet     : alsobrook at yalemed
>                internet   : alsobrook at

	This does seem a bit excessive, but not entirely unjustified. In 
our lab, we fairly recently published a paper describing a modification of 
a bacterial expression library. Since the publication we have gotten from 
10-20 requests per week for the vector. Now my boss is in the process of 
negotiating with a company to sell them the vector, but in the meantime, he 
has to pay a technician to write a letter, prepare the DNA, and ship the 
packages. This involves money. He has included in the letter a request for 
$20 to cover the "administrative costs". However, if a person does not pay, 
he does not pursue it. If the clone you have requested is in high demand, 
the lab may just be trying to collect some of the costs of sending out many 
shipments of the clone. I would say, if you feel strongly about it, don't 
pay. I'm fairly certain they will not pursue the matter further.

						Dave Hakes
						Purdue University
						hakes at

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