Smart comments on the home placenta stem cell project

I collected some critical comments worth considering on the home placenta stem cell project from Make readers. Thanks for all.

“Um many people have a whole lab set up in their home?”20+ years ago — that sentiment would be — “How many people can afford a whole computing set up in their home? (and have space)” If there’s a demand — there will be a whole lot of companies explaining why their equipment is not only cost effective, but better than their competitors 😛

Posted by: trebuchet03 on January 23, 2007 at 03:21 PM

Um many people have a whole lab set up in their home? Aside from the $$$to get a centrifuge etc, you’d need $$$ for liquid N2 which is still going to cost you a couple of hundred every few months to fill the tank. Plus I would never trust a sterile hood made from an air purifier, or just adding antibiotics rather than 0.22 uM filtering your PBS or even autoclaving. Ick Ick Ick, leave it to the pros. The feds won’t fund stem cell research but several states are and so are private companies. Besides there are lots of other countries that would love to be pioneers in stem cell research, if you’ve got the money to blow to set up a whole lab in your house why not set up a small company in a third world country?

Posted by: Sally599 on January 23, 2007 at 02:22 PM

  • how many people have a whole lab set up in their home?Thanks to the private sector biotech boom, company liquition, the magic of ebay, and onsellers, you too can enjoy the spoils of commercial laboratory equipment at pennies-on-the-dollar prices 🙂

    And if you cut out the middle man, the stuff is even cheaper 🙂

    Posted by: Archvillain on January 23, 2007 at 05:40 PM

  • Its true that you can buy cheap equipment on E-bay, but there is always a catch. A young assistant professor down the hall bought an inverted fluorescent microscope on E-bay, and while it works the light bulb burns out every 24 hours instead of 6 months. These are propietary mercury bulbs and cost around $200 a piece so she’s paying full price for the scope in the end.As far as labs being common in the home, I think its the opposite trend from computers. Labs were very common in the homes of early scientists, Pastuer etc, but its gone the other way as the need for specialized and diverse equipment has increased. Often we need to go to other labs or core facilities to use equipment because we can’t afford everything.Still, I think its a fun post but really who wants to store a biological and chemical(N2) hazard in their home. The feds would be on your doorstep investigating the possibility of bioterrorism before your equipment could ship from Fisher.

    Posted by: Sally599 on January 24, 2007 at 07:43 AM

  • Sally599: “Still, I think its a fun post but really who wants to store a biological and chemical(N2) hazard in their home.”Someone who is a sole proprietor of a private research company that has converted their garage into a laboratory? Someone with lots of money and curiosity and no connections to academia?As an aside, I store yeast and CO2 for my home brewed beer without a problem.“The feds would be on your doorstep investigating the possibility of bioterrorism before your equipment could ship from Fisher.”

    It’s not illegal to isolate and store placental stem cells. Calculate legal fees into the cost of your lab and then get a consultation with a suitably experienced lawyer. Provided you’re not an actual terrorist, I’m sure there are things you can do to keep the Feds informed and minimize the disturbance to your laboratory.

    Posted by: hammerthumb on January 24, 2007 at 09:49 AM

  • Yeast and CO2 are not serious biological or chemical hazards. Human tissue of any type is a biological hazard because of the possibility of carrying HIV or any number of viruses the person you get the placenta from may not even be aware of. You would have to test for all of these things before ever using the cells. Personally I wouldn’t want to mash up and therefore possibly aerosolize potentially infectious material. Usually tissue for lab research is give a test for HIV/Hepatitis etc before people in a lab ever handle it. The hood would protect you to some degree but when working with an unknown you’d really want to use at least level 3 safety precautions.The N2 is a chemical hazard not so much from the whole heavier than air problem which could suffocate you which would also be possible with CO2 but from the severe burn problem and from the explosion problem. From a burn perspective…if you had the right protective equipment, gloves etc it probably wouldn’t be a problem for an adult—when I picture an actual house I picture kids running around getting in trouble. Liquid N2 is really fun to play with. Now the explosion problem. Those little cryotubes can explode. They are small plastic tubes and are not reinforced. They are meant to be used only in the gas phase of N2 and if you accidentally immerse them in the liquid N2 they pose an explosion risk as they are warmed to room temp. We usually wear face shields, lab coats, heavy gloves, etc—aside from the flying plastic shards you are also getting biological sample sprayed everywhere…if you haven’t tested for Hepatitis, etc. in the sample then you’ll be making a quick trip to the doctor because you may have exposed yourself.I’m not saying it can’t be done…but you had better know what you’re doing and there are easier ways than this.

    As far as the feds, whats legal and what keeps you under the radar are two different things. Personally I don’t want to be put on the list for “special” security checks at the airport.

    Posted by: Sally599 on January 24, 2007 at 10:36 AM