1-mi­crom­e­ter DNA in­jec­tion nee­dle

Popular Science - - TALES FROM THE FIELD -

TI­MOTHY WAR­RING­TON, RE­SEARCH SCI­EN­TIST AT FREDSENSE TECH­NOLO­GIES

Dur­ing my doc­tor­ate, I was breed­ing mil­lime­ter-long trans­genic worms, barely vis­i­ble to the naked eye, by stick­ing DNA into their go­nads. We couldn’t find sy­ringes small enough, so we had to make our own. First, we would heat a glass tube about a tenth of a mil­lime­ter thick and break it to make a nee­dle. Then we’d snap off the sealed tip to make sure it was open for in­jec­tions. The im­pro­vised in­stru­ment is very finicky to make, but it does its job re­ally well.

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