In practice, genetic contamination is often picked up by the users of the animals, who obtain unexpected results. If DNA samples can be obtained from the abnormal animals (scientists should keep frozen tissue samples of their animals), then there is a good chance that contamination will be obvious using a few microsatellite markers. Conversely, if they match other animals in the colony and reference samples of DNA at 10 to 12 loci, then there is a good chance that the abnormal response is not due to genetic contamination. It may, however, be due to a new mutation and should be investigated as such. If live animals are still available, these should be outcrossed to an unrelated strain, and possible Mendelian segregation should be studied in the F2 and backcross generations.

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