Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is an in vitro enzymatic, synthetic method used to amplify specific DNA sequences from organisms. Detection of DNA using gene probes allows for absolute identification not only of specific organisms, but also of genetic material in recombinant organisms. PCR is an exquisite biological method for detecting bacteria in aerosol samples. A major challenge facing detection of DNA from field samples is that they are almost sure to contain impurities, especially impurities that inhibit amplification through PCR. DNA is being extracted from air, sewage/stool samples, food, sputum, a water and sediment; however, multi- step, time consuming methods are required to isolate the DNA from the surrounding contamination. This research focuses on developing a method for rapid cleanup of DNA which combines extraction and purification of DNA while, at the same time, removing inhibitors from 'dirty samples' to produce purified, PCR-ready DNA. GeneReleaser produces PCR-ready DNA in a rapid five-minute protocol. GeneReleaser resin was able to clean up sample contain micrograms of typical aerosol and water contaminants. The advantages of using GR are that it is rapid, inexpensive, requires one-step, uses no hazardous material and produces PCR-ready DNA.© (1999) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.