Questions tagged [lab-techniques]

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

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2
votes
1answer
582 views

How long can a human neuron live outside the body in a controlled environment?

Have there been any experiments that have kept neurons alive (stationary), without preserving methods such as freezing? If yes, then how long were the cells kept alive for?
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0answers
35 views

How do I test if microbes have survived after dehydration?

I have a solution containing various bacteria and fungi. My aim is to place solution on filter paper, and wait until it dries. I then wish to test if the organisms have survived, either on the dried ...
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0answers
64 views

Batch several sequences for absent restriction sites

I have a collection of about 120 7kB sequences I would like to check for ether a list of specific restriction sites, or what restriction sites might be absent in all of them. Is there a app or ...
1
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1answer
103 views

Making positive charged polyacrylamide

I am interested in positive charged polyacrylamide to electrophorese molecules I am interested in. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2643323/ http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bip....
1
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1answer
253 views

On which amino-acids residue is the SDS acting on?

I would like to know exactly what is the mechanisme of the SDS, and I would like to know on which amino-acids residue the SDS is acting on. Can you help me please ? Thank you in advance !
11
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3answers
2k views

How can I label cryotubes in a way that eliminates the problem of legible hand-writing?

My lab stores biological material (tissue, cells, plasma, serum) in a -130 C, liquid nitrogen freezer. The cryotubes that we use to store a samples are labelled by hand which frequently creates ...
7
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2answers
999 views

What is the best way to express two proteins in a mammalian cell?

I have two proteins and I will be preparing a vector with both genes for stable transfection. Each protein will have their own promoter and I will use piggyBac vector to insert a single cassette with ...
2
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1answer
268 views

Where does the inverse seconds unit come from in the association constant?

I'm working to determine Kd(s) kinetically by generating association and disassociation curves. Kon (association constant, or on-rate) is in inverse seconds multiplied by inverse molar. I get that ...
3
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1answer
197 views

How C. Elegans is used for siliencing genes

The experiment that is using C. Elegans to silence the Genes. I have a question about Why and how C. Elegans can use the DNA plasmid that is generated with the gene of interest in the bacteria by ...
2
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3answers
2k views

Is RNase AWAY in the lab dangerous?

I use RNase AWAY in the lab. I would like to know how dangerous this chemical is for health. For example, when I remove my gloves my hands smell because of the RNAse AWAY
11
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1answer
5k views

Why are cell lines frozen in vapor phase?

For most of the cell lines I've come across, ATCC recommends storing them in the vapor phase of liquid nitrogen. I'm taking that to mean any place above the level of liquid in the nitrogen storage ...
4
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2answers
450 views

Why lab technicians use indirect (antibody reaction) method for diagnosing?

In microbiology we have two types of microbial diagnosis. The direct method is where we detect the invader's DNA, Antigens or culture to see the exact pathogen while the second, indirect, method is ...
2
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2answers
162 views

Career progression through biosafety levels?

Does a career in infectious disease typically progress through biosafety levels, or do people select one and specialize their training in procedures specific to those hazards? That is, say Dr. ...
4
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2answers
1k views

How to Extract RNA and perform RT-qPCR from very few cells ( ~5,000)?

I am currently conducting an experiment which involves FACS-sorting a specific population of cells using an antibody of interest. In order to validate the type of cells I have collected using this ...
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0answers
687 views

Interpretation of qPCR results for low expression genes

I am attempting to validate existence of a transcript using 40 cycle qPCR. I designed primers for a unique feature of this transcript, and also designed primers for a sequence in the transcript that ...
4
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2answers
1k 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 ...
2
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1answer
130 views

Why does my anti-ubiquitin antibody visualization not work on my PAGE gel?

I am using 2D gel electrophoresis to visualize polyubiquitinated proteins. However, while I can see actin and heat shock protein using when appropriate antibodies, I cannot visualize them using anti-...
2
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2answers
518 views

Why do many DNA solutions contain additional compounds?

DNA solubility data in only water is scarce. A previous question asked for a quantification of DNA solubility in water. It seemed like it would be easily answerable, however isn't quite that simple ...
3
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3answers
1k views

LCMS/MS versus Western Blot

I have a general question regarding which method would you recommend me to use if I would like to investigate the difference in the level of several proteins in tissue samples and compare different ...
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3answers
2k views

Trypsin and cell culture

I am doing an experiment where I have treat the cells with a drug and calculate their counts. I would like to know if is bad to trypsinize the cells in consecutive days i.e. twice within 48 hours. How ...
5
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1answer
59 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
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1answer
73 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
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1answer
862 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
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1answer
112 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
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2answers
4k 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 ...
7
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1answer
5k 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
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1answer
82 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 ...
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1answer
8k 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 ...
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2answers
3k 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
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1answer
1k 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. ...
8
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3answers
12k 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 ...
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2answers
948 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
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0answers
82 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
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1answer
2k 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 ...
5
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1answer
413 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
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1answer
186 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 ...
3
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3answers
4k 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
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1answer
360 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 ...
5
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1answer
21k 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
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1answer
105 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 ...
5
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2answers
4k 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 ...
6
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2answers
7k 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 ...
5
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2answers
3k 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 ...
10
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1answer
2k 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
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1answer
71 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
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2answers
234 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
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1answer
22k 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 ...
3
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0answers
605 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, ...
4
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2answers
144 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?
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1answer
265 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 ...