PCR machine patents

dkim at unm.edu dkim at unm.edu
Wed Jun 15 11:53:17 EST 1994

(Omitted stuff on patents on thermocyclers)

This is a slightly humorous posting.  I once asked if anyone had a way to
turn a regular coffee grinder into a personal microcentrifuge (I'm still
working on it). A hobby of mine is trying to use household appliances for
molecular biology laboratory substitutes.  :)

WRT Thermocyclers:  The relevant components of a thermocycler are:

a heating element, Some way to distribute heat evenly (fan or aluminum (ium)
block), cooling, maybe, and a computer.

What has thes components in the home?   WEll, my home has a programmable
bread machine. This wonderful device has thermostatically controlled heating,
a fan, and a little computer.  I wonder if a bread machine can be modified 
to have a serial interface with your personal computer so it can be programmed
as a PCR thermocycler?

This would revolutionize the pricing of thermocyclers, since bread makers run
about US $ 100 - 200.00

Any smart computer-types out there?  There's money to be made here.  I'll
limit myself to a cut of 10% of gross.  :)

Daniel Kim   kim at flovax.lanl.gov

p.s.  I actually did read a paper in Analytical Biochemistry in which a
3-waterbath thermocycler was made using an old Epson dot matrix printer.
The platen control lifted the tubes out of each bath and the carriage
control moved them from one bath to another.

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