On Cell Culture Follies

As a postdoc at the University of California, San Diego, I appreciate your article about cell culture bad habits.1 I completely agree that tissue culturing is often considered "boring" stuff that must be done as quickly as possible. I would like to bring to your attention another very bad habit of tissue culture work: the absolute lack of monitoring of mycoplasma contamination.

We had to deal several times with this issue because our cells have been infected by cells received from other labs. The majority of labs do not implement adequate measures to control, eliminate, and monitor this subtle contamination. We know of entire departments that openly give up in controlling the presence of mycoplasma. Mycoplasma does not reveal its presence, but it can induce strong metabolic, morphological, and functional changes.

Antonino Colanzi, PhD
Dept. of Biology
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, Calif.,...

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