January 17, 2018

How Technological Developments are Helping DNA to Study Progress

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Since the “father of genetics” Gregor Mendel’s experimentation with plants in 1953, scientific interest in genetics and DNA has proliferated. 1869 saw Friedrich Miescher discover “nuclein”, isolating a pure sample of (what is now known as DNA) from the semen of a salmon and 1889 saw his own student, Richard Altmann, name “nucleic acid”,  a substance that has been found to exist only in chromosomes. These early studies alone have influenced endless other research, the most notable findings emanating from the work of Oswald Avery, Phoebus Levene, Erwin Chargaff, Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins, Watson and Crick and Alec Jeffreys. But as with most areas of scientific investigation, this progression hasn’t come to an end. The possibilities made viable through the study of genomes and DNA is expansive: DNA cloning, gene cloning, gene therapy, hybridization, replica plating… The list goes on and on. But these possibilities don’t lie within the realm of science alone. The improvement of technology available to labs and researchers is also to thank for this progression.


Chromatrap is the latest creation of Porvair Sciences, a smaller branch of Porvair plc, a specialist filtration company listed on the London Stock Exchange. The brand is renowned for being the main manufacturer of Ultra-clean microplates as well as 96-Well Filter Plates and various other forms of Microplate handling equipment that is used prolifically throughout life science and synthetic chemistry practices. While scientists have come to expect only the best from Porvair, Chromatrap is causing a significantly positive stir. Developed in collaboration with Swansea University from a concept originally posed by academics of Essex University, this range of products was developed with the aim of offering a faster and more sensitive method of chromatin immunoprecipitation and this, the brand has excelled.


There are several benefits that Chromatrap wields over its marketplace competitors. The main difference between their chip-seq kit and others’ is the type of filtration system used. Kit suppliers such as Active Motif, Cell Signalling Technology and Diagenode use bead-based filtration kits. But Porvair offer an alternative, revolutionary spin column filtration system that incorporates filter-bottom microplates. This gives the user numerous benefits. Firstly, it allows researchers to carry out ChIP in under five hours, where other products can take much longer. Secondly, the product requires less manual handling, meaning fewer opportunities for human error. Sample loss is also avoided through multiple pipetting steps. Thirdly, there are more formats available to the user, including single column formats and 96-well high throughput options. Next, Chromatrap is optimized for 1000 ng sample sizes. These smaller samples will give better qPCR results. Finally? The technology allows for more IP assays to be taken from a single sample.

So, scientists can rejoice, as these numerous benefits make research more simple and accurate for the individuals using them, including DNA specialists. This allows them to gain more from their work and progress with their cause both faster and more effectively than when using lower grade equipment from other providers. Once again, the progression of technology has resulted in the potential for a better understanding of the human body.

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