How to Calculate Oligo MW?

Nigel Brown N.L.Brown at
Sun Nov 13 05:54:08 EST 1994

In Article <9411080036.AA00293 at>,
jackman at SPRCORE.BIH.HARVARD.EDU ("robert w. Jackman") wrote:
>> In article <N.L.Brown.1134506748B at>, N.L.Brown at
>> (Nigel Brown) wrote:
>> > In Article <1994Nov3.140526.1 at>,
>> > books at wrote:
>> > >We are looking for a formula to calculate the exact MW for 
>> > oligonucleotides.
>> > GOOD GRIEF!  I have no objection to helping people with technical and other
>> > problems of a specialist nature, but are there really people doing science
>> > who cannot calculate a molecular weight?  No wonder
>> > bionet.molbio.methds-reagnts is becoming overloaded.
>I see little reason for the flames when a whole discussion has commenced on hot

>peppers in methods-and-reagents.  In fact, one of the responses to this oligo 
>post alerted me to the hypercard stack, "Oligo" which I find makes very 
>convenient work of formulae I have been running by hand for years.
This reply will breach netiquette, as the post should go to a discussion
group - any responses by E-mail please.  I must have missed some of the
replies for reasons I don't know. Robert makes an interesting point.  I read
none of the subsequent hot pepper discussion because it was not relevant to
my science.  I read the oligo MW post because I thought I could help.  I was
surprised at the content, especially as the address was commercial and
therefore unlikely to be an undergraduate posting.

At least one post accused me of intellectual snobbery / academic arrogance. 
As a university professor I spend a significant part of my life trying to
get undergrads to learn the essentials of their subject, and arguing that
there are certain things you have to know how to do.  Why should I adopt
different policies over the 'net?  Calculating MWs is hardly arcane or
specialised knowledge, and there are very common sources for the structures
and MWs of the dNMPs.

In the early days of Bionet we would get posts from  real experts in my
field.  They no longer post - or, if they do, I haven't seen them. Why?
Nigel L. Brown                                    (N.L.Brown at
School of Biological Sciences, Univ. Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK
            Tel: +44-121-414-5465                  Fax: +44-121-414-5925

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