MyTaq™ – How to Take Your PCR From 11 Hours to TWO

Fides LayWe caught Fides Lay in the lab on the day of a basketball game between UCLA and crosstown arch-rival USC. As a former UCLA undergrad now working on her PhD at USC, she never wants to miss a game between the two. Unfortunately, the long hours in the lab don’t always allow her to be home in time to watch. At least, that’s how it used to be for her. Thanks to Bioline’s MyTaq HS Mix, now she doesn’t miss a game.

In Peter Jones’ lab at USC, Fides is part of a team studying the epigenetic regulation of cancer. And as anyone who ever worked on epigenetics knows, you need to be a master of PCR to get any results at all. When you need to amplify bisulfite converted DNA to measure methylation status, you work with small samples that often have been digested with several enzymes, with DNA that is fragmented and damaged.

For the longest time the lab amplified bisulfite converted DNA with a tedious protocol; tedious because of the long set-up with using Taq from a previous supplier, DMSO, and other components added one at a time, and extremely slow cycling with a PCR protocol that was 7-11 hours long.

Anything could go wrong at any time, and the result was impossible to predict. Simply using a different thermocycler with a different ramping speed could cause the reaction to fail. And once you found out, it would be too late to fix because every new attempt takes a whole other day. Since the lab usually clones and sequences the PCR fragments, there was always still the risk that no clones would have inserts. Hard to predict, and that meant starting over.

All that changed when Fides first tried Bioline’s MyTaq HS Mix, an easy, all-in-one mix that contains the enzyme, dNTPs, buffer and all optimizers. There’s no need to add any DMSO, it works right away on almost all templates. And it’s fast! Reactions are done in less than two hours, even on bisulfite converted DNA, with highly consistent results, and always with nice bands. The PCR products are much easier to clone, and on the rare occasion that something does go wrong, there’s still time to redo the experiment AND get the samples off to pyrosequencing the same day.

Now Fides has time to run multiple experiments and redo anything that goes wrong, all in time to get home, kick up her feet and watch the game.

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