Questions relating to protocols, procedures, and good practice when using laboratory equipment.

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3
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1answer
173 views

Ideal lab glassware cleaner for molecular biologist

I'm using Alconox powder detergent to clean my laboratory glassware, the powder is a pain to store near the sink and to use. Would like to make a concentrated liquid to use in its stead. I have ...
6
votes
2answers
727 views

Alternatives to trypsin for cell detachment?

I have ran out of trypsin and need to passage my cells (immortalized chondrocytes, C28/I2) today or tomorrow. I have been out of town and forgot to order more trypsin. I was wondering if there are ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Does adding antibiotic after 5-10 mins of innoculation affect the protein yield or growth?

I've asked a lab colleague the same question. She said, it would loosen the bacterial cells in the LB medium and plasmids would come out. Is that true? and why?
5
votes
2answers
224 views

How do you visualize RNA on a gel?

I have run an in vitro transcription reaction and produced some RNA of a single species and definite size. I would like to visualize it to check if the reaction worked. Can I do this on an agarose ...
9
votes
1answer
305 views

How do I put on a labcoat?

Let's assume I am wearing a labcoat for two reasons: Prevent the various bacteria, proteins, skin cells and substances on my clothes and my skin from contaminating my experiments. Prevent various ...
4
votes
1answer
41 views

Effect of Ethanol on Brain Volume Measurements

I want to compare the brain sizes of two populations of fish. However, all the samples I have were fixed in 95% ethanol. As far as I know, 4% formalin is the normal fixative for soft tissues. Can I ...
4
votes
2answers
92 views

Short, concise, practical manual for doing experimental biology

I am am physical scientist working in biology, and have recently started doing experiments. I would like a manual akin to "Numerical Recipes", but for the lab: straight forward, easy instructions on ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

How does a TOPflash/FOPflash assay work to detect beta-catenin protein expression?

I am reading an article (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3596711/) wherein a TOPflash/FOPflash assay is used to detect beta-catenin protein levels in a COS-7 cell line. I can't find a good ...
2
votes
0answers
121 views

Origin of the 260/280 ratio?

This is not a duplicate of all the other 260/280 ratio questions, I already know that DNA is supposed to be 1.8 and RNA is supposed to be 2.0. However, this might be more appropriate for chemistry, ...
3
votes
2answers
63 views

What is an Ihh-/- mouse?

This one is too basic question: I just came across $Ihh^{-/-}\ $ mouse. Is that means this mouse devoid of that gene Ihh. What is this sign called and are there other such representations?
4
votes
1answer
410 views

DpnI over-digestion

We have a long protocol that we are optimizing that includes DpnI digestion of a PCR product (to remove any of the template DNA if it's methylated, and while we're not certain in the blind tests, ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

What is an effective method for putting on blue rubber butyl stoppers?

They look like this. We have to do a lot of gas sampling and these are really difficult to assemble. I've been scouring the internet for advice but there are none. Do you have experience with ...
7
votes
1answer
676 views

How to reduce/eliminate cell clumping in suspension CHO cells, without using an anti clumping agent?

what is the best way to eliminate clumping suspension cells used for transfection. Anti clumping agents interfere transfection and hence can't be used. Though maintaining the cell density low helps, ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

How can I view modENCODE data faster?

I am trying to view several data tracks in the modENCODE GBrowse genomic browser. However, the site is so slow, it is practically unworkable. Is there a faster way to explore the data?
19
votes
1answer
21k views

What is the difference between HPLC and FPLC and why is FPLC preferable for protein purification?

I've used HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography) before (once, so I'm barely even qualified to know what it stands for) so I was surprised when my labmate told me she would be using an ...
2
votes
1answer
390 views

Why does the pET- expression vector contain a LacI gene additionally to the one in the genome?

The pET plasmid is used for protein expression with T7 promotor in expression strains, such as E.coli BL21(DE3) It contains a lacI gene which codes for the lac repressor protein, a protein of ...
4
votes
1answer
306 views

Can I heat Trizol?

I wonder if I can heat Trizol reagent for 30 min 65C. The goal is to disrupt protein-RNA complex while inhibiting nucleases. (I can't use RNasin cause it's inactivated in 65C, and can't use RVC cause ...
1
vote
1answer
817 views

RNeasy Mini Kit low 260/230 ratio — can I purify this RNA for further use?

I used Qiagen's RNeasy Mini Kit to isolate RNA from 5*10^5 C28/I2 (immortalized human chondrocytes). However, my yield is low (~25 ng/ul), but my 260/280 ratio is great (~2.3), and my 260/230 ratio is ...
3
votes
1answer
327 views

For people who work in microbiology labs, what software do you use to manage your strains?

It's just a small microbiology lab that currently records everything on paper, and there's quite few mutants as well. Is Excel commonly used for this sort of thing? Or is there a better software to ...
8
votes
3answers
316 views

Does the Petri dish lid orientation on workbench affect aseptic technique?

When examining an incubated plate, it is rather clear that holding the plate in one hand and the lid in another is best for aseptic technique, or simply resting the lid on the plate as shown below. ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

Non-fatal / low-harm measurement of Drosophila traits

I am trying to generate some candidate traits to measure in a fitness assay of wildtype outbred (lab population) flies. The key trait I will measure is lifespan. I am looking for some additional ...
13
votes
2answers
619 views

Are there issues with filling PCR tubes to capacity?

I'm planning to scale up a PCR reaction, and I'm wondering if filling the PCR tubes to the maximum volume of 200 ul would be a problem. It would mean a lot less pipetting as I would only need 1/4 of ...
6
votes
2answers
311 views

introduction to Chip Seq

I hope this question is suitable for this site. I am concerned about the Chip experiment part so I think it should be okay. I am a Applied Math student starting to get into bioinformatics and so I've ...
6
votes
4answers
235 views

Is there a comprehensive life science techniques/methods database?

There are so many techniques/methodologies in the life sciences that we can use to interrogate interesting questions. The thing is, most of us are completely unaware of the available methods we can ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

PCR master mix contents

I am running PCR reactions with different sets of degenerate primers and I want to know what should go into the master mix My usual master mix: DEPC water PCR buffer (-Mg) 25mM MgCl2 10mM ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Do you have experience with PacBio?

I prepare a experiment and I found $PacBio SMRT$ as the great way to sequence my PCR products. I find the cost: library preparation 655 dollars + sequencing 435 dollars. It seems very low. Do you have ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

How to measure quality and quantity of DNA?

I would like to mesure DNA. I quantify the concentration with Qubit fluorometer, but I would like to know also quality of DNA. I try BioAnalyzer (Agilent),but without success. Bioanalyzer measure DNA ...
2
votes
0answers
1k views

What are the roles of guanidine-HCl and ethanol in binding of DNA to silica?

I'm trying to understand how exactly the binding to silica gel (in kits) step works and I cannot find any papers which provide an explanation of the physics or chemistry; especially on the way that ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

Substitute 25mM dNTPs mix with 10mM dNTPs

I need to make a solution of multiple compounds, one of them is dNTPs. The recipe calls for 20 μl 25 mM dNTPs in a 1250 μL master mix. Unfortunately I do not have it available at that concentration, ...
3
votes
1answer
34 views

Changing time and rpm of centifuge

Inspired by this question, I want to ask a question about centrifugation. Suppose a protocol says : 10 min at 2500 rpm . Can we instead centifuge for 5 min at 5000 rpm or 20 min at 1250 rpm ?
11
votes
2answers
6k views

How do I clean phenol contaminated RNA without losing any of the sample?

I recently extracted RNA from developing plant leaves for the first time, as part of a very long and intensive experiment. The samples were extremely precious because of the amount of effort that went ...
3
votes
0answers
165 views

Gibson assembly using NeBuilder

I am supposed to construct a plasmid that contains features from two other plasmids. My strategy is to generate three fragments form the two other plasmids. I was encouraged to try Gibson assembly, ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Plasmid maintenance

I have obtained some plasmids used as integration vectors, this question may apply to all plasmids. I would like to have a somewhat continuos source for these plasmids, let's say that the origin of ...
9
votes
2answers
617 views

Gloves for Cell Culture?

I always wear gloves when I'm doing cell culture. Moreover, I always spray my gloves with ethanol to disinfect, so that I don't contaminate everything. However, I recently heard the argument that ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Pippin prep kits - expiration date

Do you use Pippin prep? We would like to buy it, but we need more info. What is the expiration date of kits for Pippin prep? Thanks!
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How to avoid air bubbles while pipetting?

I get air bubbles while pipetting small volumes. How can I avoid them ?
3
votes
1answer
246 views

Benefits of CLARITY?

What are the benefits of CLARITY over this technique that was published more than a year earlier? Of course the second technique needs a fancier microscope that is likely more expensive and requires ...
3
votes
1answer
39 views

Prevalent large (>=90kDa) maintenance protein/loading control

I was wondering if anyone had recommendations for good, large (hopefully 100kDa+), control proteins that would be present in most mammalian cells. I'm working mostly with tissue samples from humans ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Enzymatic Protein Deglycosylation of TCL

I've done O- and N- linked enzymatic deglycosylation of purified and lyophilized proteins. Following some modifications to the manufacture's protocol, I had great results. I now want a student to ...
10
votes
1answer
29k views

Why do we add salt when precipitating DNA?

All the DNA extraction protocols I have seen involve adding salts to the extraction buffer. What is the purpose of the salts? What happens if they aren't included?
5
votes
1answer
67 views

What method would you use to genotype SNPs in low quality samples?

What method would you use to genotype SNPs in low quality samples? I ideally want to genotype hundreds of SNPs in hundreds of scat samples (very low amount of target DNA, potentially degraded and ...
1
vote
1answer
93 views

In vitro transcription, contamination problem

I am using a RNA which is in vitro transcripted before I started my project. It turned out it is not prepared properly and has DNA contamination. Instead of perform the in vitro transcription again, ...
5
votes
2answers
553 views

High Current (Speed) Transfer Buffer Recipe

Does anyone know an effective buffer mix to use for high current Western transfers? We are successfully using the vendor's premixed buffer to transfer a wide range of protein sizes to PVDF membranes ...
3
votes
1answer
736 views

Problem with bacterial transformation with electroporation

I have a problem with a bacterial transformation of a yeast gene that I can not solve. I isolated yeast DNA and did a PCR to get my product. I am using pCGCUm vector with a GFP construct. I digest ...
2
votes
3answers
289 views

Bacterial cell lysis buffer used in proteomics procedures

What kinds of detergent-free bacterial lysis buffers exist? The proteins we're extracting will be later analyzed by LC-MS/MS, and we're looking for a lysis buffer that won't interfere with this ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

Should the length of the electrodes in the electrophoresis chamber be proportional to chamber's size?

I am trying to build a small horizontal electrophoresis chamber from scratch. I want to use it for comet assay and I will be using only 1 slide, so it's going to be about 3cm wide, 10cm long and 4cm ...
6
votes
1answer
414 views

Alternatives to CFU plating for measuring number of viable cells?

I am hoping to measure growth rates of a bacterial culture in several growth conditions. I am concerned that these growth conditions may cause cell death, which would lead to a decreased ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

Improving throughput of CFU plating?

In a separate question I've described my general experimental setup where I need to measure the number of live cells in a growing bacterial culture in a fairly rapid and high-throughput manner. In ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Basic step by step methods for PCR & Gel electrophoresis class

I'm teaching a class how to do PCR & gel electrophoresis soon and would like it if you could check through my basic step by step instructions - it's a while since I've done one. Is there anything ...
1
vote
0answers
124 views

Which is the best way to fix and preserve comet assay slides before staining with Ethidium Bromide?

I want to use the method of Single Cell Gel Electrophoresis (comet assay). I have many samples, but I don't have the appropriate microscope. So I have to preserve my slides until the time comes for ...