A grinding problem

Stacy Ferguson sferguso at kimbark.uchicago.edu
Sun May 15 23:53:37 EST 1994

In article <2qlrn5$n3r at bigboote.WPI.EDU> jbagshaw at wpi.WPI.EDU (Joseph C. Bagshaw) writes:
>This is my second attempt to post this message.  The first did't
>get through, I'm a novice, and the local college computer center
>speaks no known human language.  Sorry for the noise.
>I have a problem for which someone out there may have a solution.
>I need to prepare genomic DNA from frozen tissue (shrimp tails,
>to be specific).  The first step is to reduce the tail muscle,
>still frozen, to as fine a powder as possible.  Currently, I wrap
>the tail in two or three layers of foil, place it on a metal block
>on dry ice, and pound it with a hammer.  This reduces the tail to 
>small chunks, which I then grind in a mortor and pestle on dry ice
>until my arm aches.  From there on the DNA extraction in a breeze,
>and I get super quality DNA.  This crude but effective pulverizing
>method is OK for a limited number of samples, but the prospect of
>doing a few dozen shrimp this way is pretty daunting.  I'm looking
>for an alternative that would facilitate rigorous grinding of
>multilpe samples.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.
>Joe Bagshaw
>Department of Biology and Biotechnology
>Worcester Polytechnic Institute
>Worcester, MA 01609
>jbagshaw at wpi.wpi.edu
>********************HAVE GENES, WILL TRAVEL********************

First, I'm glad to see you're using a part of the shrimp that most people
don't eat anyway. I'd hate to see good shrimp go to waste :)

Will a Waring Blendor work? You can usually find them in big scientific
supply catalogues like Fischer, Baxter, etc. You can buy small blender
cups for scientific use. I've made liver powders and things like that using
frozen tissue and dry ice for DNA preps. The only problem with this is that
the cups aren't cheap, so if you plan on doing pcr or something where minor
contamination would be a huge problem, then it would be prohibitively
expensive to buy one cup per prep. The cup I used held about 50 ml but I
know they come in smaller sizes.


More information about the Methods mailing list