mail irradiation & biological macromolecules... what now?

Roland Hübner roland.hubner at
Thu Feb 21 04:26:30 EST 2002

relayed from the Malaria Mailing List: malaria at

>Although information is meager, news reports indicated at least some 
>U.S. mail is being irradiated to prevent another mail-borne anthrax 
>Such treatment most likely would damage DNA samples being sent through 
>the post for research purposes, including extacted DNA or dried samples 
>in blood, etc. Does anyone have experience in recent weeks in shipping 
>DNA samples? Will researchers be required in the future to use the 
>private services, such as Federal Express in the US?

 Linked or dried DNA is usually better off than nucleic acids in solution
when UV irradiation, but here the aim is to break down also such 

 This is a more targeted question about the general theme of which 
reagents we use in our bench work might be wrecked by this technology...
(e.g., can this affect autoradiographic films, (charged) membranes, etc.)

 Anybody heard/learned anything specific about this aspect?


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