DNA typing in the Basement

Rogier rogier666 at my-deja.com
Fri Sep 8 09:43:22 EST 2000

> A friend of mine is interested in doing some amateur genaology using
>DNA typing to establish relationships with people sharing his surname
>in the old country. Let's say you have a budget of <$1000 and you don't
>want any radioactive or toxic waste disposal issues. Any suggestions?
> I am thinking RAPD analysis from cheek scrapings using a second hand
>PCR machine.

sounds like it's impossible.
if you PCR, you need to detect your DNA. all fluorescent DNA stains are
known or suspected carcinogens.
the budget is way too tight, too. The PCR machine itself, even if
second-hand, will eat your entire budget. you'll need a UV box, an
image-capture setup (you don't want to play with rolls of film...), some
pipets (about 200 bucks if new - that's the cheaper ones).
Primers, Taq polymerase, etc etc etc. -
To make gels, you need agarose (I wouldn't even think about playing with
acrylamide in your basement...). 200 bucks will buy you 500 g.
Find some sponsors, increase your budget to > $10,000,and you may have a

Why not ask someone in the nearby university if you can run a couple of
PCRs and gels on their equipment once in a while?

Good luck,

Rogier Stuger
Dept MicFizz, Free U of A
E rogier AT biogate DOT com (spammers will be killed)
do NOT use the my-deja.com address. I never read that one

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Before you buy.

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