So is the 15 minute machine a 1 sample at a time machine? Betting they already own one of those for test development. If the presumably much more expensive big batch machine is anywhere nearly as fast then wow, could conceivably run hundreds of tests a day. How many captive hatched babies a year in the US? Might could make an estimate from MM ads. Certainly a lot don’t get listed there but those also might be the ones lest likely to be tested at any price and not all MM ad snakes could benefit from being tested. Still could see a market for 10,000 tests a year but maybe I’m way off (probably low I bet). But if a machine could run hundreds and hundreds of tests a day it could certainly be done, but all depends on when that machine gets cheap enough to make the numbers work.
Love the commitment but I’m going to give my thoughts and I’ll tag @t_h_wyman for the specifics, but I would guess that you need a sterile environment to perform these tests to the highest standards and accuracy… which a room full of animals doesn’t quite give you.
Also, the cost of each run will be increased as who is to say they will get the minimum amount of sheds to make it feasibly priced? They may only get one Clown test request for a whole show… but they still need to run it before the show ends.
I think the best thing people can do to push this venture further is to donate their sheds to get new tests made. The more tests available, the more are ordered, the more money RGI can pump back into their setups and staffing budgets, and the quicker test results get back to the customer.
It is a cool service. I haven’t used it, though. Currently I’m still popping and probing for sex determination.
I’d be more than happy to send in a mess of sheds with lots of known variety… of corn snakes. Sigh. Which I wish were actually useful for them. Sighhhh.
I did exactly that. Saved a small section of shed for each of my snakes, put them each in a little baggie and labeled the genetics for each one and sent them in. They’re going to be working on corn snake genetic tests eventually, so helping them get a head start on the genetic database is a good idea!
I couldn’t find my pic of all the sheds before I sent them, but this is what I did with mine. I wasn’t sure if listing pos hets was necessary, but I included them anyway.
If it’s a PCR, it’s more than 15 minutes. Even if you’re just doing a rough and dirty DNA extraction, that will take 15-30 minutes, then adding the master mix, most thermocycler protocols seem to run anywhere from one to two hours, then you either will have to run on a gel or do sanger sequencing.
You can do a whole bunch at once, but it’s going to take at least a few hours.
I just wish they’d share which primers they used so I can do it myself. Which is probably why they aren’t sharing them……
Good to know, thanks! I didn’t realize they might currently be interested in corn snake sheds. I’ll get in touch with RGI. I shall be happy to help!
…Here’s where I am mentally replaying that old saw about “assume…”
I thought all that stuff for the current tests is public knowledge, since afaik so far all of them were developed in academic studies. I’m sure providing labeled sheds to private companies will result in newer tests being completely proprietary tho. And why I hope to keep sending sheds to entities that commit to share their databases and findings freely.
Or maybe I don’t really know what you’re asking and my total ignorance is showing
New tests coming in the next few weeks is amazing news for me. I ran my pairings this season assuming some of these tests would be developed this year. Was starting to get very nervous I’d be stuck with an army of pos hets, but it turns out the gamble just might pay off!
With Hypo do you know if just a single mutation was found for all of the different lines that were going around years ago?
I don’t have an answer for definite on that but I will find out.
I saw somewhere I think from Dr Seidel that so far surprisingly all the compatibility hypos they had tested were the exact same mutation. It has been pointed out that with more samples eventually they might find different compatibility alleles like already found for albino and yb.
Thanks, Thomas. Had one shed this morning and I’ve got a bit set aside for RGI.
I’ve seen comments about sheds being too old for testing. Does anyone know the time parameters?
If you follow the instructions outlined in the “How to prepare and preserve sheds” section on the RGI page, the sheds DNA can remain viable for several months or even years.
No problem Caryl
I think the main thing to a good sample that lasts is to get dry as soon as possible and keep dry. I even though about trying to find some silica packets to be sure samples are dry enough to store in sealed ziplock bags until tests are available. Would hope silica wouldn’t effect test results.
Also wondering about possibly washing a fresh messy shed before drying which I also would expect to be ok but again don’t know for sure.
Also I had some concerns that first sheds might be contaminated with mother’s profile from the egg fluid but someone suggested this might not be a big risk especially if you wash babies which I do right out of the egg.
Someone also asked about test results for heterozygous vs homozygous. Again I don’t have a certain answer because I haven’t had a homozygous tested but assume the results will specify the difference. I did produce an albino once that I thought was het pied but the buddy I sold him to pointed out he could be a zero white pied. Assuming testing could answer that.
Regarding proprietary genetic info, I believe the clown and impending desert ghost test are in house RGI products. I’m just glad to have a clown test available and hopefully soon a desert ghost. When a private company does the work to identify a mutation and develop a test good for them. I’m sure the monopoly on that info will not last forever. In theory another company could compete in the published gene area now but hopefully new efforts go to finding unknown genes and not re-finding the same genes.
Curious to if and when they are able to compile every morph listed and find that multiple morphs are actually the same, just linebred for different results.The list on MM is crazy long and new morphs popup like weeds.
Just think it’s on our best interests as consumers of these products to provide the data (sheds) to more open source initiatives as well.
The hardest part to all of this is getting enough data to make the computations against. So getting that into the most hands that can offer tests means better price and service from competing companies.
This is not accurate. Extraction of DNA itself is going to be a ~30min process. Add in PCR time and, where necessary, restriction digest time, and then electrophoresis time… You are looking at three to four hours minimum.
Then you need to account for efficiency. The materials and machines that these are run on are designed for higher throughput - 384 reactions, 96 reactions, 48 reactions, 12 reactions, etc. It would not be cost-effective or efficient to run single tests for people
A fully equipped core facility can probably run ~10,000 samples/day. But those are major facilities with multiple millions of dollars of equipment. I do not know the specifics of what Ben is running but I would put it at probably something like 1-2 extraction machines (12-20 samples each), 3-4 thermalcyclers (96-384 samples each depending on how they are kit out), 2-4 electrophoresis rigs (12-20 samples each). Your choke points are going to be extraction and electrophoresis. If we use that 3-4 hour workflow, then you are looking at 24-40 samples/8-hour work day
You do not need to be sterile, but you do need to be very very clean
Depending on which ones you are looking for, they have been published. For example, I have all the YB sequences
Currently I am hearing that there is only one allele. That said, I have not been able to get clarification on whether they tried to collect a diverse number of sheds from all the different lines. I would guess if you are working with the “Orange” or “NERD” lines you are probably covered
Yes, the test results will specify whether your animal is heterozygous or homozygous.
Hypo is now available.
I just sent in three pos het hypo sheds today!
Is it wrong that I’m hoping some to test NOT het so I don’t have to hold them back any longer? Lol, probably a good thing I have a strict tub limit. I’m always looking for how to open space for progress holdbacks.
Painful to sell breeder sized females though knowing the years and feeders that went into getting them that big.
About a week ago, I started to post a hypo-thetical (pun intended) question here, then decided against it thinking that the odds of it actually happening were so slim, that it wasn’t worth asking. Well, it happened.
I was originally wondering… If I were to purchase the full panel test (of 9 morphs) at the end of March, and RGI added a new morph test between the time I paid and the time they received the shed, would they test only for the original 9 morphs for which I paid, or would they test for all new genetics (hypo, in this case)? To be clear, I only paid for 9 tests, so I’d be satisfied if they skipped the Hypo test. After all, I didn’t pay for Hypo. Fair is fair. And if they wait two weeks before submitting a large batch of sheds for testing, they may have tests available for Desert Ghost as well. I wonder if I’ll receive that test too.
Guess I’ll wait and report back.