Determining methods of Automated Nucleic Acid Extraction

By Lorenzo Gutierrez

Scientific exploration- Determining methods of Automated
Nucleic Acid Extraction

The human body is a complex structure made up of various cells and genes. The central system of genetic identification for humans is focused on one’s DNA, that is deoxyribonucleic acid. It is present in nearly all living organisms as it defined as the main constituent of chromosomes. With the introduction of a variety of communicable diseases, it is pertinent to researches to be able to extract DNA. They do this to run various tests to see how best the world’s population can extend its life cycle through science.

What is Automated Nucleic Acid Extraction?
This speaks to the removal of DNA by mechanical/ automated means. Extraction by this mean is deemed to be more accurate and more beneficial to science as it lessens the margin of error, or so it is alleged. “Automated nucleic acid extraction systems can improve workflow and decrease variability in the clinical laboratory.”[1]There are various methods that can be accessed. As science evolves so does technology and technological research is by extension advanced.

Methods of Automated Nucleic Acid Extraction
There are various methods of extraction and various machinery used by researchers on a day to day basis in efforts to attain much needed samples of DNA. This is done as the fight towards cures for many communicable diseases is a rather tedious process. Let us face the fact that technology is put in place to lighten the work load of many and aid in movements towards more accurate results. Many companies have delved into the creation of different extractors that each operate at varied levels. Some of which were created to be work horses, thereby being able to complete massive amounts of work while others are able to only produce an average turn out. Laboratories vary by size and as such, they would be able to best choose an extractor of their liking to perform their work functions.

There is the manual means of extractions, you can refer to this as good old reliable. Researchers are incredibly consumed by work when they have to utilize manual extraction methodologies as it is incredibly hands on. Of course, there is the usage of some level of technology however, the researcher would need to be present to adjust variables and incorporate other items as the need arises.
Automated Extractors allow researchers the ability to set their research in the machines and be able to leave to complete other tasks. Researchers aren’t needed at every step during automated extractions as technology does most of the work once it is that the samples are prepared and placed therein. It must be noted that with the presence of great technology, companies also incur a greater cost. Where a manual extraction could be performed at approximately $5, the work of an automated extractor could range anywhere from $7.60 to $12.95 per sample.
You may find that, true to human nature, researchers will gravitate towards a more established extractor as it had been around longer and there had been numerous reports done on it. However, it is important to still venture out and try new machinery as prior to the one that is most renowned became that way it was merely extractor X for argument sake, an unknown machine with the potential to create an ease of workload.

Research of two methods [2]
For the purposes of this article we will look at a particular research performed by a group of research scientists, their information will be provided below. After comparing the three methods of extraction, It could be determined that the first extractor; X was reasonably efficient as it varied from 86% to 107% of manual. The second extractor Y’s recovery efficiency in comparison to the manual method varied from 83%-107%. Though the results varied marginally the true variation of extraction came by way of cost. As the extractor X was the most costly means at $12.95 per sample, whilst the Y costed $7.60. There is also a key difference in operational actions as the X doesn’t allow for the researcher to walk away, leaving the machine to perform its extraction. The X also needs a higher volume of samples to perform its task. Automated Nucleic Extraction is a field of science that is beneficial to researchers as it yields greater results than manual extraction. It is however a more costly approach.

[1] Dundas N., Leos N.K., Mitui M., Revell P., Rogers B.B. (2008 June 13) Comparison of automated
nucleic acid extraction methods with manual extraction.

Retrieved August 3, 2017

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