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Name: Keri
Status: Other
Grade:  Other
Location: NC
Country: United States
Date: March 2005

When extracting DNA from whole blood, is the DNA coming from the white blood cells since red blood cells do not have nuclei?

I worked in paternity testing lab for three years, so I know the answer to this. The answer is yes.

Ron Baker, Ph.D.

You are correct that red blood cells, lacking a nucleus, also lack DNA. When a DNA laboratory receives a sample of blood in a test tube, the sample is put in a centrifuge to spin, to separate the red cells from the rest of the blood. The DNA is extracted from the fraction containing the white blood cells.

Sarina Kopinsky, MSc, CGC

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