so many claims for so many kits -- how can we tell what works?

Kay A. Pleyte kpleyte at
Thu Dec 7 11:25:00 EST 1995

     I've found lots of comments on various kits by searching the Usenet
archives.  I agree the comments of others are the most useful evaluation of
a new product's performance in "real life".  It takes a while for people to
try a new product.  I always wait for other people to try before I take the
chance!  So, keep the new product evaluations coming--they're probably read
by a lot of researchers.  

kpleyte at

Jon Nakamoto (jnakamot at wrote:
:    Every day several ads for appealing-sounding kits cross my desk
: (generally selling for several hundred dollars a pop). I keep an eye out
: for postings describing these kits, but see surprisingly little discussion
: about them. Surely there are people out there who've tried these kits
: firsthand and can share their acquired wisdom?
:    I'm not looking for full-fledged reviews, nor would I want to see bad
: mouthing of any specific product. Just some reality checks and tips about
: specific kits. 
:    For example, I've had the chance to try the Gibco BRL Gene Trapper Kit,
: which basically uses a biotinylated oligo and streptavidin-paramagnetic
: beads to enrich for the desired clones. It does work, but I would comment
: that you pull down a lot of clones which have one or two mismatches from
: the oligo sequence (and that means you could get a lot of clones other
: than the one you're after). Also, the TdT/biotin-14-dCTP incorporation
: step is really fussy and demands a PAGE-purified oligo, even though the
: protocol says you can use HPLC-purified oligos -- if someone had told me
: this from the beginning, it would have saved me a lot of grief (and
: reagents). Also, it's important to note that an extremely high efficiency
: of bacterial transformation is essential for this kit -- you have to use
: electroporation. 
:    Another example: an experienced colleague tried the Clontech Promoter
: Finder kit to get very G+C-rich 5' sequence but had little luck. It would
: be nice to hear from someone who had been successful in getting GC-rich
: sequences with this kit, or others who could confirm that it was likely
: the GC-richness and not technical incompetence on my colleagues part! 
:    I'm not trying to push kits (hey, I set up my own differential display
: of mRNA rather than paying the astronomical GenHunter price), but
: sometimes they do work nicely and save much time. I just want to know
: which ones have worked well for your average lab person, and just what
: that average person did to get it working. 
:    Why isn't there a site where you can look up specific products and get
: users' tips for how to make a particular product work best? 

: Sorry for the late night rambling,
: Jon

: Jon Nakamoto, MD
: UCLA Medical Center
: jnakamot at

: -- 
: Jon Nakamoto
: jnakamot at

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