Do you routinely run DNA preps for PCR amplification? This is a common procedure in many laboratories. However, it is not always necessary to perform DNA preps prior to PCR. In many circumstances, all you need is lysis of the cells and release of the DNA.

Microzone in the United Kingdom has recently introduced microLYSIS, a reagent designed to lyse a wide variety of different cell types prior to PCR. MicroLYSIS is a proprietary mixture of detergents formulated to lyse cells in less than 15 minutes via a heating/cooling protocol that can be easily carried out in a thermal cycler. Simply add an aliquot of microLYSIS to samples before placing them in the thermal cycler. However, Microzone is quick to emphasize that this reagent does not purify DNA. Rather, the microLYSIS protocol is to be used in circumstances where purification of the DNA is unnecessary.

Abhijit Datta, a postdoctoral fellow...

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