DNA has been volatilized by pulsed laser ablation of a thin film of a frozen aqueous DNA solution. The target film was irradiated in vacuum by a pulsed laser at power densities sufficient to ablate the ice matrix. The expanding ablated water vapor entrained embedded DNA molecules and expelled them into the gas phase. Ejection of DNA molecules as large as 410 kilodaltons was verified by collection of the ablation products and subsequent mass analysis by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis with autoradiographic detection.
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