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Amplification of trace amounts of nucleic acids

United States Patent

June 17, 2008
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Methods of reducing background during amplification of small amounts of nucleic acids employ careful analysis of sources of low level contamination. Ultraviolet light can be used to reduce nucleic acid contaminants in reagents and equipment. "Primer-dimer" background can be reduced by judicious design of primers. We have shown clean signal-to-noise with as little as starting material as one single human cell (.about.6 picogram), E. coli cell (.about.5 femtogram) or Prochlorococcus cell (.about.3 femtogram).
Church; George M. (Brookline, MA), Zhang; Kun (Brighton, MA)
President and Fellows of Harvard College (Cambridge, MA)
11/ 066,559
February 28, 2005
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTERESTS This invention was made with Government support under Grant Number DE-FG02-02ER63445 awarded by the Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.