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Profiling and policing

Jonathan B Weitzman

Author Affiliations

Genome Biology 2001, 2:spotlight-20010625-01  doi:10.1186/gb-spotlight-20010625-01

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:


Published:25 June 2001

© 2001 BioMed Central Ltd

Research news

Cell lines used in many laboratories are often not what they are claimed to be, resulting in misleading research articles. A well-characterized case of cross-contamination is the widely used human cancer cell line called HeLa. In the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Masters et al. describe the use of forensic techniques to expose culprit samples. Short tandem repeat (STR) profiling is a simple PCR-based technique that generates results in the form of a standard numerical code for lengths of polymorphic loci. Masters et al. analysed 253 human cell lines, collected from international cell banks and cancer research institutes, to demonstrate the feasibility of wide-scale STR profiling to detect cross-contamination. The authors suggest that STR profiling (at a cost of only $200 per cell line) could be used to create an international reference standard for human cell lines and they propose that a policy of 'authentication prior to publication' would diminish scientific misrepresentation.

References

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    PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL

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    PubMed Abstract OpenURL