Any precautions for handling DNA?

Lynda Callicotte callicot at
Fri Mar 25 23:00:31 EST 1994

In article <2mols3$bv at> hank at (Hank Roberts) writes:
>From: hank at (Hank Roberts)
>Subject: Any precautions for handling DNA?
>Date: 23 Mar 1994 05:59:31 GMT
>Summary: Writer's query, checking recollection

>I have a vague recollection that since my undergrad days 30
>years ago, when DNA was thought to be biologically inactive in
>purified form (safe to handle in the lab), that some problems
>were found and some additional precautions (gloves, etc)
>started being used at least for some preparations.

>Can't place the memory, though it was five or more years ago
>that I came across this.

>Help me recollect; was I reading Nature, or was it Analog?  :-)
>Post or email, I don't mind finding out my memory's wrong if so.

We often wear gloves when handling DNA.  This is not because we are afraid of 
the DNA but because we are afraid nucleases on our fingers might contaminate 
the DNA and chew it up, ruining all our hard work.  If I stuck my finger in a 
tube of DNA, I would be more worried about the DNA than about my finger.

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