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Chick pre-B cell encyclopedia

Julie Curran

Genome Biology 2000, 1:reports227  doi:10.1186/gb-2000-1-1-reports227

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Received:9 December 1999
Published:17 March 2000

© 2000 BioMed Central Ltd


For those interested in DT40, a chick pre-B-cell line proving increasingly popular for use in gene targeting projects, this is a very useful site. It features a new bursal B-cell expressed sequence tag (EST) library (Bursal EST Database), which can be directly downloaded or is searchable in situ through BLAST, both by keyword and by sequence queries. There are excellent downloadable protocols for techniques such as cell culture, transfections, chromosome preparation and immunocytochemistry, all of which are optimized for the DT40 cell line. An address book full of experienced DT40 researchers you can contact is also available. Another appealing factor is the list of 'free of charge' reagents that can be requested, including cell lines, drug-selection marker cassettes and chick genomic and cDNA libraries.


Navigation is easy as the overall menu remains visible when you link to the pages listed and there are not too many layers to get lost in. I had no problem in downloading the Bursal EST Database or DT40 protocol files that were on offer.

Reporter's comments


This is a relatively new site that has certainly been updated within the past three months.

Best feature

The wealth of information is extremely useful to those wishing to use DT40, and the generosity in supplying really useful reagents for free is a welcome surprise.

Worst feature

The site would benefit from more in the way of a general introduction to the DT40 cell line: as it stands, it does feel as though the site starts somewhat in the middle. The picture of the lab members relaxing at the beach would, however, make one inclined to forgive them.

Wish list

An option to search the site would be helpful and being able to download from the reference list would also be a bonus.

Table of links

Assumptions made about all sites unless otherwise specified:
The site is free, in English and no registration is required. It is relatively quick to download, can be navigated by an 'intermediate' user, and no problems with connection were found. The site does not stipulate that any particular browser be used and no special software/plug-ins are required to view the site. There are relatively few gratuitous images and each page has its own URL, allowing it to be bookmarked.