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Improving Laboratory Techniques - Extraction Methods

Due to the increased rain this month, scientific staff spent the time in the lab to optimize DNA extraction techniques. The current laboratory tick extraction protocol allows staff to extract 24 tick pools (five ticks per pool) at a time. A different extraction kit has the ability to double that number to 48, but it utilizes different chemical reagents. Considering the lab processes thousands of ticks each year, this shift should significantly reduce extraction time. However, when a large protocol change like this is proposed, a full panel must be conducted that compares previous techniques to the new one. This allows staff to confidently say the change does not negatively affect disease detection. Our lab is happy to report that the new kit performs as well as our previous system. The staff will be switching over to these reagents to maximize laboratory efficiency. 

2/8/2021

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