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

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5
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1answer
41 views

One Sample, Different Methylation Values

I'm hoping that somebody here can explain this unusual result that I'm getting with some pyrosequencing data. I have bisulphite converted a few samples a couple of times over the years for different ...
2
votes
1answer
35 views

Workspace preparation and cleanup for DNA work [duplicate]

What steps should be taken in a molecular lab environment to help ensure that DNA samples/stocks are not contaminated, or contaminate other objects in the lab?
5
votes
1answer
118 views

Is there a protocol for freezing and thawing Bacillus subtilis cells?

There is a book that says to store Bacillus spores in 50% glycerol at -70 degrees Celsius (doesn't mention if the 50% is final concentration or not). But from what I know, the cells themselves can be ...
2
votes
1answer
29 views

Do I have to use sucrose to induce a lac promoter?

I'd like to optimize the expression of a Fab fragment in Escherichia coli. For induction of the lac promoter on the pAK400 vector I use IPTG and sucrose. Do I optimize the expression in case I would ...
12
votes
2answers
639 views

How sterile is sterile when working with nucleic acids to prevent contamination?

I am reading up on preparatory work on working with nucleic acids and a lot of the instructions speak on excessive procedures on cleaning environments with high %ethanol and making sure the equipment ...
1
vote
0answers
109 views

Recommend any Molecular lab LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System)

We are looking to develop or customize a LIMS for our molecular lab. Do you know of a LIMS that you've used in a molecular lab before, or one that could be used. Thanks for the help (Edit) Some of ...
1
vote
2answers
233 views

What is the importance of urea in mass spectrometry?

What is the importance of urea in mass spectrometry? We use 8M urea to FASP our proteins prior to mass spectrometry. What is the significance of using 8M urea? and how does it affect the proteins?
7
votes
1answer
798 views

Magnetic-activated cell sorting vs. FACS

When sorting cell populations it is possible to use either magnetic-activated cell sorting or fluorescence-activated cell-sorting (FACS). I am wondering when you would choose either technique and what ...
3
votes
1answer
41 views

Decreasing Solubility as Solvent Moves Higher in Paper Chromatography

In paper chromatography, as the mobile phase (I used 1:9 acetone/petroleum ether) climbs higher and higher, will the solubility of the solutes decrease as the solvent moves higher? I speak mostly ...
-1
votes
1answer
930 views

How to make µg/ml concentrations of proteinase-K?

How does one prepare concentrations in the mass/volume (weight/volume) form, for substances like nucleic acids or in this case, proteinase? A detailed example would be helpful. I need to prepare ...
2
votes
2answers
445 views

Using an analytical balance (0.0000 precision) to measure µg (micrograms)?

If i needed to prepare 200µg/ml of proteinase K, and the proteinase K was in a solid powder form, would I have to weight out 200 µg using an analytical balance, and if so, is it possible with a ...
9
votes
1answer
360 views

RNA migrating slower than DNA on Formaldehyde Gel?

So I ran into an interesting problem. I'm getting a linear DNA band that is twice as long (4x bases, but as denatured probably only 2x) as an RNA band running at the same size in a formaldehyde gel. ...
7
votes
3answers
6k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using beta-galactosidase compared to luciferase as a reporter gene?

In the University labs, we have used Beta-galactosidase as a reporter gene to quantify the expression initiated by the stress-response promoter in yeast. This was done by exposing one of the two ...
1
vote
2answers
150 views

How to safely sterilize urea-containing growth medium?

I'm using urea-containing growth medium for experiments with bacteria (1-2 l/day). After the experiment, the growth medium has to be sterilized and disposed. I did this so far by autoclaving, but our ...
4
votes
0answers
35 views

Procedure for doing western blot [closed]

I am writing a step by step guide for doing a western blot for a class. It is intended for any one with basic Biology lab skills. I am hoping people will review my draft and give feedback on how to ...
2
votes
1answer
383 views

Does methanol fixation deform cultured cells?

I use methanol fixation (@ -20⁰C for 10 minutes) when performing immunofluorescence assays on cultured cells. Generally speaking, this results in very good antibody staining. However, the cells tend ...
0
votes
0answers
145 views

Peristaltic pumps in animal perfusion - how important are physiological flow parameters?

Animal perfusion is usually done according to this or very similar procedures. Though not explicitly detailed in this video, the perfusion fluid infused into the Aorta is usually driven via a ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

Safety of using industrial water for hand washing

Industrial water taps are present in most biology laboratories I have been too. There are accompanied by a sign stating "do not drink". So obviously it is not a good idea to drink it. However I ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

Well to well variation in thermal cycler fluorescence?

We have an old BioRad ICycler Thermal Cycler with MyIQ single color fluorescent detector. While it's meant for RT-PCR, we've been using it for melt curves and binding assays for different types of RNA ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Long term storage of agarose-ethidium bromide gels that have already been cast

I have come up with what I thought was a clever idea: Store the agarose gels I pour, and only cut as many lanes as I need to run later, minimizing wasted agarose (and wasted effort/time) when I need ...
3
votes
1answer
121 views

How can I purify RNA after gel electrophoresis to remove residual acrylamide?

I sometimes use denaturing gel electrophoresis on a preparative scale to purify RNA produced by in vitro transcription. The major issue with this is that the sample after extraction from the gel still ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

Should I dilute DNA with water or elution buffer?

I've extracted DNA using a kit and final step is eluted with buffer. If I must dilute my DNA samples, do I use the same elution buffer or can I use milliq water?
1
vote
0answers
81 views

How does air-liquid interface (ALI) culture work?

For studying diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cells are often grown in air liquid interface. I understand that the common way of establishing this these days is to grow ...
4
votes
1answer
8k views

NaCl role in CTAB - DNA complex in DNA extraction

I have a question about the role of NaCl in the DNA extraction process. So for NaCl concentrations under 0.5M, CTAB and DNA molecules can create complexes. In those concentrations, proteins and other ...
4
votes
1answer
55 views

What's up with all the vague protocols? [closed]

I have lost count of how many protocols I've seen, including those supposed to be professionally written (such as manuals that come with kits from well known brands, or methods sections of papers in ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Purifying a linear plasmid after restriction digest?

I expressed a yeast vector in E.coli and purified about 13µg of it. I then linearized it using a restriction enzyme, and attempted to gel purify it. I attempted this twice. The gel showed a clear ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How to prepare sample for SDS PAGE?

I usually take my protein sample 0.8ml and sample buffer(2X) 0.2ml for my sample preparation in SDS PAGE. Am I using correct proportion? my protein sample concentration is 4.1mg/ml. What is the ...
6
votes
2answers
389 views

poor RNA quality from zebrafish embryos

Does anyone routinely do RNA isolation from zebrafish embryos? I have embryos from different stages but all below 24hpf. This is the protocol I follow: Take 10-20 embryos Wash once with milliQ ...
1
vote
1answer
152 views

How to separate peptide on SDS PAGE?

I want to separate 1600 Da peptide on SDS PAGE, on 20% GEL I didn't get any band, How can I separate on PAGE? Can I use 25% SDS PAGE?
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Is wiping with RNAse Zap enough to destroy RNAse activity?

From the RNAseZap MSDS, it is an SDS at some unknown concentration, maybe with some NaOH? Some other links suggest there is some NaOH as well. The Ambion site states that RNAseZap destroys RNAse ...
3
votes
1answer
232 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
1k 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
39 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
449 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
392 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
49 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
99 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
7k 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
166 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
72 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
937 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
66 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
1k 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
58 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
24k 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
742 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
364 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
1k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
402 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
62 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 ...