Building the $100 Thermocycler
Dr. Duncan Clark
Duncan at nospam.demon.co.uk
Wed Feb 2 07:58:06 EST 2000
In article <38987C9A.32E0 at le.ac.uk>, A.F. Simpson <AFS7 at le.ac.uk> writes
>Louis Hom wrote:
>> The recent developments surrounding the PCR patents in the US have got me
>> thinking about designing a low cost thermocycler that might make PCR more
>> accessible to labs (like high schools or undergrad labs at small schools)
>> that can't afford the $4000 price tag associated with most thermocyclers
>> out there.
>You might want to be careful. As I understand it, the overturned patent
>concerned Taq polymerase only. The PCR process itself (and hence
>machines to perform it) is still covered by various other patents.
It's called I think contributory infringement. An authorised PCR machine
costs a lot more in just royalty than your USD100 machine.
Anyway why do they need a machine to do PCR? That's an expensive lazy
option. Just use two water baths, one at 94C one at 68C, a clock and one
student! That's how it used to be done, even by Cetus, and I'm pretty
sure someone even sold a machine like that. There were certainly designs
in NAR for one using I think some machine originally used for melting
wax for sections.
The problem with being on the cutting edge is that you occasionally get
sliced from time to time....
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