Hybond N Problems

Paul N Hengen pnh at ncifcrf.gov
Mon Aug 19 17:44:13 EST 1996

Mike Gruidl (mgruidl at com1.med.usf.edu) wrote:

> Just thought I would pass along a little bit of info.  Amersham has had to
> change the way they make Hybond N.  Unfortunately, this may give some problems
> with background.  Amersham readily acknowledges that about 30% of their end
> users have experienced a problem.  I was part of that 30%.
: (stuff deleted)
> I would also be interested if anyone else is interested in developing a
> specific forum for posting 'verifiable' problems with any companies product.

I think this is the place to do it and that kind of thing happens here all the
time.  In fact, part of the monthly column in TiBS that reviews discussions
here is aimed at alerting researchers to potential problem products.  I've
already done stories on contaminated libraries, the greatly improved ;-)
magic/wizard binding matrix, the blinking Hoefer TKO fluorometer, NOT-SO
RNase-free reagents, and on the big membrane SWAP.

> I have had several incidents where a product was purchased and the company does
> nothing to warn the end users of potential problems.  I would assume that would
> be a bad policy to call attention to any defect in a product.  I don't see
> anything wrong though with the end users calling others attention to those
> defects.  It might improve or get rid of those selling bad products (like
> oligos and antibodies, just to name two of the worst offenders).  Any reputable
> company will probably welcome the spotlight.  What do you think?

One has to be careful of something like this. Some of the company reps I spoke
with thought it was okay to do this, but many are reluctant to go "on record"
for fear of "higher ups" finding out. That makes it very difficult to verify
that they already know about the problem area and have made any moves to
correct it.  Some companies are glad to respond, but on other occasions I've
taken some heat for revealing problems with products currently on the market.
That won't stop me though and I'm game to do more of this in the column. If
anyone does find problems like these, please get them out in the open and let
us know about them.

* Paul N. Hengen, Ph.D.                           /--------------------------/*
* National Cancer Institute                       |Internet: pnh at ncifcrf.gov |*
* Laboratory of Mathematical Biology              |   Phone: (301) 846-5581  |*
* Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center|     FAX: (301) 846-5598  |*
* Frederick, Maryland 21702-1201 USA              /--------------------------/*
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