Pharmacia's Ready-To-Go PCR® Bead literally has it all-pre-mixed, pre-dispensed PCR reactions wrapped up in a bead. All that's needed is template, primer and water, and you're "ready to go". A proprietary stabilizer allows the beads to be stored at room temperature, further simplifying lab life. Company literature claims that the beads work for a variety of templates-genomic, viral, plasmid and cDNA-and LabConsumer once again took to the bench to give it a try.

Using a single copy gene, mouse c-fos gene, and a bacteriaphage template, (lambda), PCR reactions were run with the Pharmacia bead and compared to a control reaction made up from frozen stocks. With both template/primer combinations, the beads performed as well, if not better than the control reaction. It was immediately apparent that by reducing the number of pipettings, the bead not only reduces the preparation time, but also reduces the risk of contamination. Further, since...

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