isoamyl alcoholREGISTER

kitchingman at kitchingman at
Thu Feb 23 08:20:19 EST 1995

In article <mic-2002951705040001 at>, mic at (Mic Chaudoir) writes:
> In article <3hol30$gla at>, burbly at
> (Marc A. Borbely) wrote:
>> i have looked everywhere but can't find an answer:
>> why in the world is isoamyl alcohol used together with phenol and 
>> chloroform for extraction of nucleic acids?
>> I've asked this on and the only response i've gotten so far was 
>> that it keeps down foaming. Other people have suggested that it serves to 
>> "catch"  proteins that are too hydrophilic for the organic compounds and 
>> too hydrophobic for the aqueous layer.

So what's wrong with the explanation that it keeps foaming down?  That is what
I was told 20-some years ago (i.e., it's ancient wisdom!).  When the oil crisis
of 1973 was in full force, organic compounds such as isoamyl alcohol were
virtually impossible to get, and substitutes had to be sought, or extractions
had to be performed without the IAA. After trying straight CHCl3 extractions, I
saw the truth in the ancient wisdom...> 

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