PCR hoods to avoid contamination?

Bryan L. Ford fordb at bcc.orst.edu
Wed Aug 13 19:35:40 EST 1997

Guy A. Hoelzer wrote:
> After a long period of good karma, my lab has run into the inevitable
> problem of PCR contamination showing-up in our water controls.  I realize
> that there are many potential sources for the contamination, and we are in
> the midst of screening some of them in hope of identifying the culprit
> quickly.  In the meantime, I am interested in the value of obtaining a
> benchtop PCR workstation.  What I have in mind is a small, economical,
> enclosed hood.  I would prefer one that includes UV bulbs. 

Just a few questions-- before you invest: 

Have you been consistently using "filter tips" on your pipettors?

Do you have a separate room for PCR preps, isolating all equipment,
materials and reagents used in or with PCR preps from all equipment,
materials and reagents associated with PCR products or with plasmids
containing potential templates?

Do you UV your tubes and water in a UV crosslinker before your setups?

Good Luck in your quest to identify the source of contamination! Please
let us know the outcome. 


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