Reasons for PCR failure....?

Martha L. Reed mlr8 at
Fri Aug 2 10:03:49 EST 1996

In article <4tt1vb$fe5 at>, Bill Burnett
<bbur at> wrote:
> So what's the weirdest, wackiest reason you've ever come up with for 
> them not working?

 Well, after a month, I discovered that our milliQ water was bad the week
that the bottles were filled and autoclaved so all sorts of enzyme
reactions (including PCR) were not working.  And primers diluted in the
water did not work once the water was changed in the bulk of the PCR
reaction mix. And to top it all off, the oil that had been sitting in a
tube on my bench (and causing no problem) for months *totally* inhibited
the reaction.  Nobody in the lab believed the oil inhibition at first, but
several trials convinced me to toss the tube.

Martha Reed
Genetics and Development
Cornell University

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