centiSperm DIY Protocol: Centipede DNA Isolation
By Adam Zaretsky
Centipede DNA Isolation A – Kill Centipede B – Mash with mortar and pestle This was no easy feat. The night I scanned the centipede the other residents named him Keith! And Keith nearly escaped. I fed and housed him, changed her stream water and caught it bugs. I even found that he preferred raw meat but not fat. With a name and care, Keith felt more like a pet. Also, the skittering, curious and loungy attitude of Keith suggested a fine sentient personality. The antennas poking and wriggling in unison and independently spoke tomes. Even the fear of a venomous organism showing signs of extremely honed escape tactics gave me vast respect to the centipedes of this world. There is no respectful death possible for an organism to be used for bioart. Still, a good death was considered. There is little written about insect euthanasia. We considered drug overdose but it was unknown if insects responded to diazepam derivatives. I was of the notion that fast, near instantaneous destruction was the best method. Its just a bit of that ultraviolence, smash and grind will do the trick. But, we did try out cryanesthesia (freezing) in the hopes that Keith would be numb. As usual with these death rituals, it is not easy. I will resist calling this project centi-midnightToker-Sperm for lack of text space on the interwebs. I did make a tube floatation device for the hot water bath. I used plastic netting and corks. There are many corks at the Djerassi Residency, many! E – Spin to make pellet F – This time keep the supernatant and throw away the pellet G – Move liquid to new tube H – Mix 50/50 with high proof vodka or Everclear I – Spin at high speed for 10+ minutes J – Pour off the vodka super natant K – let the pellet dry aerating until there is no alcohol left L – Resuspend in 100 microliters of distilled water by pipetting up and down over and over until the DNA pellet is mixed in with the water. For this step I used my hand held 20-200 microliter pipette but I had not remembered to bring sterile pipette tips. Well I cut some myself from disposable pipettes. I know they are not calibrated but they sure work well and the proportions were right!