Equipment Mastery & Hacks

Basic Care for Your Liquid Handler

Liquid handlers, such as the Eppendorf 5075 I use to prepare DNA libraries, can be an immense help in the lab. Not only can they provide “lights-out” automation, freeing you to do something else, but they can make your work more reproducible. Here are some ideas to make your liquid handling robot perform at its…

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5 Ways to Wreck Your Centrifuge

Surprise, surprise: That low frequency wobble isn’t your colleague’s dubstep. Before your centrifuge leaps off the bench and into a spirited dance, power down to see what’s the matter before it catastrophically destroys itself, your samples and the entire lab. Here are five unfortunately easy ways to wreck a centrifuge…and how to make sure it…

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You Too Can be a MacGyver in the Lab!

A laboratory is a place where researchers spend the majority of their lives attempting to solve the mysteries of the universe; or at least the fraction dictated in their grants. However, working away at the lab bench day after day can result in tools being scattered about, samples disappearing, and even the occasional malfunction of…

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My favorite laboratory Freebie

I love free stuff. Maybe it’s because I am from the former Soviet Union, where there wasn’t enough stuff around, let alone free. Or maybe a little happiness about getting something for nothing is universal, but I am still amazed that companies are giving away things – whether they are useful, not so useful and…

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10 Easy ways to wreck your autoclave

You know how to wreck your microscope (yes, we’ve done that ourselves), and how to repurpose them when they’re old and obsolete. We’re busy brainstorming ways to destroy our centrifuge without annihilating the laboratory, so we’ll get back to you on that… Here’s our least favorite techniques to ruin that larger-than-life-sized autoclave. (Please don’t try…

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10 Top Everyday Items Useful in the Lab

Every research lab is full of equipment specially designed for specific technical and experimental requirements, unfortunately this means said equipment is often expensive. Thankfully there are simple and cheap everyday items which can help you with your experiments and generally make life a lot easier. 1)  Perforated metal ladle – to fish out samples from…

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How to Care for Your pH Meter

Is there anything more tedious than pH-ing a solution? Standing there adjusting the pH of your buffer, adding acid or alkali drop by drop until you get to the right pH… With pH-ing being so boring, it’s in our best interests to keep the equipment in good working order so that we needn’t fuss over…

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