Figure 5. Laser pyrolysis mass spectrum of herring DNA showing prominent signals derived from the base and nucleoside moieties. Conditions: cw CO2 laser, 50 W/cm2, pulse time 0.1 s; Eel 14 eV. For experimental set-up see reference 48.

Compared with polysaccharides, the application of Py-MS techniques to the analysis of nucleic acids is still in its infancy. However, taking into account the impressive successes obtained with the mass spectral analysis of intact nucleosides and nucleotides using some of the newer desorption techniques, significant breakthroughs in the Py-MS analysis of nucleic acids, using combinations of pyrolysis and desorption techniques, as pioneered by Schulten et al. (ref. 62), may well occur in the near future.

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