It is generally acknowledged that RNA is more prone to degradation than DNA, which may be because of the ubiquity and robustness of RNases. Accordingly researchers wishing to maintain an RNase-free environment may need to be more vigilant. Whilst human skin has long been recognised as a source of RNase contamination, simply wearing gloves may not provide a suitable barrier. This is because either the gloves have become contaminated by human contact or the cleanliness of the glove is not sufficient to ensure that they are RNase-free. Accordingly here are some tips for gloving in an RNase-free environment:
1) As nitrile offers higher abrasion resistance than latex, use only nitrile gloves.
2) To avoid cross-contamination, use only individually pair-packed gloves. Ideally these will be sterile gloves, which will minimise the risk of microbial contamination that could be a major source of RNases.
3) Adopt aseptic donning technique, thereby avoiding human contact with the outer part of gloves.
4) Use longer length gloves (≥ 30cm) to provide complete overlap with the sleeve and to ensure that there is no risk of skin shedding from the wrist.