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Nucleic Acid Extraction Basics
Extraction of DNA, RNA or total nucleic acids from samples such as blood, cultured cells, microbes or plant and animal tissues is critical to the success of many experiments. Purity and yield of the extracted nucleic acids is key to performance in downstream applications such as PCR and sequencing.
During purification, samples all progress though a common set of manipulations: cell lysis, clearing, inactivation of nucleases, nucleic acid binding, washing and elution.
Optimization of extraction methodologies is key for success, especially with challenging sample types and demanding downstream applications. The target nucleic acid should be purified free of contaminants, including proteins, other cellular components and undesired nucleic acids.
Most DNA extraction methods purify DNA away from other cellular materials by binding the DNA to a solid support such as silica or cellulose, purifying the extracted DNA away from contaminants by washing, and then eluting the purified DNA into water or buffer.