In the past, researchers seeking to quantify or detect small amounts of DNA in a sample have relied on techniques such as ultraviolet spectroscopy and agarose gels. While these techniques continue to be useful for a variety of molecular biology applications, they are highly sensitive to contamination by proteins, buffers, and detergents. In addition, these techniques are best suited to the analysis of microgram amounts of DNA. In September of 1999, Promega introduced the DNAQuant DNA Quantitation System, which measures concentrations of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) down to 20 pg/µL through luminescence. According to enzyme and nucleic acids product manager Gary Kobs, this system can be used to quantitate genomic DNA prior to PCR amplification as well as the resulting PCR products. It can also be beneficial to laboratories that purify other products (e.g., proteins) in the presence of DNA and would like an accurate method of detecting DNA contamination.


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