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

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2
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1answer
275 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
277 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
635 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
278 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
282 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
58 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
535 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
145 views

How do you store membrane proteins?

We're producing some membrane proteins and they aren't amenable to freeze thaws even when we add glycerol. The proteins are solubilized in detergent above the cmc so they should be in micelle form in ...
6
votes
2answers
265 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
205 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
73 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
64 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
98 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
911 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
94 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
33 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
5k 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
140 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
84 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
544 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
56 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
865 views

How to avoid air bubbles while pipetting?

I get air bubbles while pipetting small volumes. How can I avoid them ?
3
votes
1answer
227 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
38 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
68 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
27k 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
65 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
82 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
485 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
667 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
157 views

Electronic laboratory notebook (ELN)

I have been using old style lab book for some time now but with increasing work on computer and storing sequencing results and gel pictures on computer it would be nice to have everything on computer ...
2
votes
3answers
207 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
131 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
390 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
38 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
115 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
48 views

Removal of the Initial Methionine in Venus for FRET

I'm working on building some FRET reporters. In addition to a cleavage site (of varying composition from 15-18AA), a 1 AA linker, I'm using Venus and Cerulean. Initially I was worried that 18AA ...
4
votes
2answers
484 views

Does bleach destroy RNAse activity, and if so, how does it do it?

I am working with RNA samples, and I'm trying to be very careful about RNAse contamination. I have some questions about bleach, though. Some people say that a solution of bleach is enough to destroy ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

How long can I store extracted RNA?

If I extract RNA from a (leaf tissue) sample using a one-step phenol:chloroform extraction, how long can those samples be stored at -80°C? And how many times can I defrost and refreeze them before ...
8
votes
2answers
95 views

Is there a Reverse Transcription optimization for long, 9kb, transcripts?

Has anyone optimized RT for long transcripts (9kb)? The downstream application will be PCR amplification and Illumina library prep. It will be trivial to make internal primers sets for the PCR that ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

What makes drosophila eyes red? and is it stable?

I have Drosophila melanogaster which I am doing an eye pigmentation assay on in the future. To do this I will dissolve the heads, 10 of them removed from frozen whole flies, in acidified ethanol for ...
3
votes
2answers
782 views

How does formaldehyde/PBS or methanol fixation of cells affect lysosomal pH?

The question is fairly simple - does formaldehyde or methanol fixation in preparation for immunocytochemistry/immunofluorescent staining affect the pH of the lysosomes? Some background: I'm trying to ...
2
votes
0answers
163 views

What tests can be performed to test the purity and quality of the raw peptide HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)

What tests could be run to test the purity and type of HCG? We are looking to purchase HCG from China but the purity and quality varies between labs, we are able to receive samples of the raw peptide ...
2
votes
1answer
447 views

Strange behavior of a DNA gel

I ran a PCR product of ~300 bp on a 2% TAE-agarose gel for 30 minutes. I used Sybr-safe as a DNA stain. Voltage was 80V. When I imaged the gel, the DNA on the bottom half of the gel, including the ...
5
votes
1answer
596 views

Using ion-exchange chromatography to purify DNA from a cell extract - Is DNA more negatively charged then RNA?

When applying this method we have a glass or plastic column of resin which is positively charged. Then we pour cell extract into the column in order to capture the negatively charged particles which ...
4
votes
1answer
67 views

How can I save bacillus strains on filter paper without an -80 degree freezer?

I want to save my bacillus strains but I don't have access to a -80 degree freezer. What are possible alternatives?
3
votes
1answer
143 views

How do different tissue culture matrices affect background in fluorescent microscopy?

In response to my previous question, I've been reading up a little bit on poly-D-lysine, Collagen I, Collagen IV, laminin, and other tissue culture coatings that promote cell adhesion. I've always ...
3
votes
1answer
709 views

Optogenetics - How do microbial opsins work?

I'm just introduced to the optogenetics method and am having some trouble grasping the genetics (of the optogenteics) part of things. So we have Retinal and Opsin that form Rhodopsin molecule that ...
3
votes
0answers
39 views

Can I purify polyhydroxyalkanoates by heating the cells extensively?

Traditional methods of purifying polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) and other bioplastics made by bacteria involve washing the cells with harsh chemicals or strong bases.I'm interested in maintaining the ...