Shiao Y. Wang sywang at
Wed Apr 13 22:10:08 EST 1994

Janet Williams (williamj at wrote:

: Hello
: 	We are interested in purchasing a new PCR machine for our
: lab.  We currently have a single block (30 samples) unit made by
: Ericomp.  We are very pleased with it and have the parameters set to
: give us maximum amplification of fish mitochondria DNA.  We are soon
: going to need a bigger unit in oder to amplify three mitochondria
: fragments from 1300 fish fin clips.  I am interested in something
Have you considered one of the air driven thermocyclers? They can hold
many more tubes and allow different formats (tubes, plates, slides). They
have the advantage of being very uniform in temperature. The disadvantage
is that they are slower because air is a good insulator and it takes
longer to change temperatures. I am NOT speaking from experience (I use an
Ericomp cycler too). I am considering an air cycler. Any comments
from an experienced user of an air driven thermocycler?

As far as sample prep is concerned, see the extraction procedure of
Malitschek and Schartl in BioTechniques 11(2):177-178. It is based on the
use of detergents and Proteinase K. The advantage is that you can use the
digested material directly for PCR. Simple and saves alot of time. I use
it to extract DNA from shrimp for amplification.

I would appreciate it if you could post your final decision on the
thermocycler and the reasons you picked it. Good luck.

Shiao Wang
Univ. of Southern Mississippi

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