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low boiling point

Jim Mansfield mansfield at zeno.ibd.nrc.ca
Tue Mar 21 13:12:55 EST 1995

In article <MAPI.Id.0016.00646f6e6e656c6c4644434230303032 at MAPI.to.RFC822> odonnell at sasa.gov.uk ("Kevin O'Donnell") writes:
><<Your message>>
> >We would like to initiate some PCR based methods near Quito,
> >Ecuador at an altitude of 3050 m above sea level.  Water boils
> >here at 89 C which will not allow us to bring the vials up above
> >this temperature.  Our PCR machine has not yet arrived but we
> >would like to have some ideas on how this problem might be solved
> >before it does.
> >Many thanks
> >Greg Forbes
><<End of your message>>
>What an interesting problem! I somehow missed this when it was first posted.  
>My immediate thought is: would this still be a problem if you had one of those 
>thermal cyclers with a screw down heated lid?  Also, if water boils at a lower 
>temperature, will the Tm of your DNA primers be lower as well?


I don't know much about what a PCR machine is, but here are some solutions
to the low boiling point problem:

1) use water/ethylene glycol mixture
2) use a saturated salt solution of water
3) heat it inside a pressure cooker

I would think #1 would be your best choise - assuming the water you are
heating the vials in does not come in contact with your sample :-)

Hope that helps,


Jim Mansfield                          internet: mansfield at ibd.nrc.ca
Institute for Biodiagnostics, NRCC     phone:    (204) 984-5191
http://www.ibd.nrc.ca/~mansfield/      fax:      (204) 984-5472

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