Trace amount of ribonuclease (RNase) contamination can sabotage your laboratory experiments. RNA is known to be difficult to work with because it is readily degraded by RNases that are ubiquitous in the environment, including on our hands. Utilizing certified RNase-free supplies and reagents can help protect your experimental results.

Manufactured with rigorous nuclease (includes RNase) contamination controls that include stringent quality specifications, our products are designed to meet the needs of researchers working with RNA. Our nuclease-free products are tested to help ensure that no traces of contaminating nonspecific endonuclease, exonuclease, and RNase activities are present.

Why keep your lab nuclease- and RNase-free?

Presence of nucleases such as DNase and RNase can degrade a molecular sample, interfering with downstream analysis. Researchers working with RNA know that RNA is unstable and degrades rapidly. Even trace quantities of RNases can lead to lower yields from in vitro transcription reactions, degradation during RNA purification protocols, and produce variable results after RT-qPCR. It is vital to protect targeted molecular samples from the RNases that can break them down. All labware should be RNase-free before commencing molecular research; this includes instruments, surfaces, protective wear, and consumables involved.

What are the most common sources of RNase contamination?

Surfaces including benchtops, pipettes, glassware, and benchtop instruments are common sources of RNase contamination in the lab and should be treated with a surface decontamination agent. For instance, if sterile gloves have contacted bare skin, touched a refrigerator handle, door handle, pipettor, pen or pencil, or any phone, the gloves should subsequently not be considered RNase-free. For more details, you can learn about the basics of RNase control or explore the surface decontamination products provided by Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Explore: Surface decontamination

RNase-free products

RNase-free products can be broken down into four categories: RNase inhibition, RNase detection, RNase decontamination, RNase stabilization.

Because of the importance of keeping lab spaces nuclease-free, there are many products to help inhibit, detect, and decontaminate RNases, as well as preserve and stabilize RNA. Products that can help make your laboratory RNase-free:

RNase inhibitors

RNase inhibitors are commonly used as a precautionary measure during enzymatic manipulation of RNA to inhibit and control RNases.

Read more about RNase inhibitors

RNase detection

To determine if RNases are present in samples or solutions, RNase detection kits are used. These kits typically monitor RNase activity.

Read more about RNase detection

RNase decontamination

Decontamination reagents eliminate nuclease contamination (particularly ribonuclease) on work surfaces.

Read more about RNase decontamination

RNA stabilizers

RNase stabilizers are reagents that help stabilize and preserve the integrity of RNA at the point of collection or post-collection.

View RNA stabilizers

Nuclease-free tubes, tips, and reagents

Another way to keep your laboratory RNase-free is to utilize certified nuclease-free and RNase-free supplies and reagents. View our catalog of nuclease-free tubes, tips, water, buffers, and reagents:

Nuclease-free tubes and tips

Certified nuclease-free (RNase- and DNase-free) tubes and pipette tips designed for handling RNA and DNA with confidence.

Explore: Nuclease-free tubes and tips

Nuclease-free water

Certified nuclease-free water products available in a wide range of sizes and packaging formats for molecular biology research.

Explore: Nuclease-free water

Nuclease-free buffers and reagents

RNA and DNA storage buffers, general-use buffers, and molecular biology-grade reagents—all rigorously tested and shown to be nuclease-free.

Explore: Nuclease-free buffers and reagents

Quality ISO 9000 certification

BSI, Inc. logo for ISO 9001:2000 certification

In support of our commitment to providing the highest-quality products, information, and services, our site in Austin, Texas has obtained ISO 9001:2000 registration. The achievement of ISO 9001 registration assures that quality systems and procedures have been developed and implemented in product design, production, and support operations. ISO 9001 certification is a strategic milestone in our ongoing efforts to effectively support customers. BSI, Inc., the world's largest registration body for management systems, is the registrar for Ambion quality systems.

Nucleic acid purification & analysis support—we're here to help!

Our experts are here to help with application support, method development, and any other sample preparation questions you may have. Don't work in isolation. Contact us directly at

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