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Star Republic: Guide for Biologists

Mail DNA/Clone/Stock samples

Scientific samples that are not hazardous to mail handlers and general public can be sent through mail.

1. Purified DNA samples

  • Mail in an 0.5 ml eppendorf tube. Seal with parafilm. Fold a small piece of cardboard to protect the eppendorf tube from crashing. Mail in an envelope.
  • Spot a small amount of DNA on to a small filter or filter paper. Seal in a plastic bag. Mail in an envelope. Upon receiving, place the filter in a small amount of TE. Take an aliquot to transform competent cells.

2. Bacteria and yeast clones

  • Mail a stack stock as a small package.
  • Spot the clone on a sterile filter and protected it with sterile aluminum foil (autoclaved) and insert into a plastic bag. Mail in an envelope. Upon receiving, place the filter in a small amount of the medium using a sterile forceps. Streak an aliquot on a plate.

3. On ice

Samples that are stable at 4 C (e.g., protein) can be mailed on ice. Put the sample in a plastic bag, seal if necessary, and place the bag into a styrofoam container. Send by express mail.

4. Dry ice

Samples need to be frozen (e.g. frozen cell lines, enzymes, and clones in 96-well plate) should be mailed in a styrofoam container with dry ice. Don't pack too much dry ice, most carriers have a limit on how much a dry ice package can weight for reasons of flight safety. Send by express mail.

5. Tissue culture cell lines

Certain insect and mammalian cell lines can be mailed in a flask where cells usually grow. Fill the flask with growth medium so cells will not dry out even if the flask is inverted. Tightly close the cap. Invert to test no medium will leak out. Wrap it with newspapers, place into a small box, and send by priority or express mail. No ice or dry ice.

6. Flies

Send flies in a vial with fresh food. A stryofoam box may be necessary in the winter months. Send by priority or express mail.