Quantcast
Skip to content

Equipment Mastery and Hacks

Reproducibility: Mastering the Art of Pipetting

Reproducibility: Mastering the Art of Pipetting Date: Thursday September 2nd 2021Time: 9am London, 10am Berlin, 11am Moscow Speakers Dr. Barbara Siefker Product Marketing Manager Eppendorf Barbara obtained her Ph.D. in Developmental Biology in 2004 at the University of Cologne, where she researched the asexual reproduction of jellyfish using molecular biology techniques. After her Ph.D., she…

Image of two scientists pipetting to represent the importance of a good pipetting techniqueRead More

Becoming a Patch Clamping Pipette Wizard

Is patching clamping a problem? Struggling to get a good seal? There is no need to stress! We’ve got tips on picking and preparing the perfect pipette for your patch clamping experiment!

Image of a man looking at blank signs at a crossroads in confusion representing uncertainty at choices in patch clamping pipette typesRead More

DIY Centrifugation-Based Purification of cfDNA

There are many reasons you may want to study circulating, cell-free DNA (cfDNA) such as non-invasive prenatal testing to generate a molecular karyotype of an unborn fetus or for use in cancer to detect, diagnose and monitor the disease. Qiagen’s QIAamp circulating nucleic acids extraction kit is consistently cited in the scientific literature as the…

Read More

Lab Hacks: Tips to Save You Money and Time

Not every lab has the cash to shell out on fancy equipment. And let’s face it, in today’s climate of budget cuts, even the baller labs are looking for ways to be more frugal. Years of lab work has taught me a thing or two on how to make ends meet. So, if you’ve found…

Read More

How to Write a Flawless Methodology Section

Excellent research takes time and effort, and a publication is your chance to showcase your hard work. While your main motivation might be to share and discuss your results, your methodology section is key to the reproducibility of your work, acting as a foundation for other researchers to repeat and build upon your findings. In…

How to Ensure Your Methodology Section is ReproducibleRead More

Experimental Reproducibility: How to Get the Most “Bang” for Your Buck

As scientists, we are trained to design an experiment with the bigger picture in mind; the ultimate goals being to publish quality data and demonstrate scientific rigor. However, sometimes you need to focus on the little things, such as perfecting control and experimental samples, incubation times, and ordering reagents to truly ensure that you obtain…

Getting Reproducible DataRead More

Ten Tips for Pipetting the 384-Well Plate

I was so excited to start using 384-well plates for my assays. With so many wells, these plates are useful for testing many conditions in parallel, as required in ELISAs, siRNA library screens, and drug treatment dilutions. However, I quickly learned that pipetting in these plates is more complicated than I thought. This article contains…

384wellRead More

Top 5 Errors in Pipetting

Pipettes are not just fancy handlebars for your tips, they are essential for precisely measuring and dispensing liquids. These standard ‘tools of your trade’ enable you to accurately repeat experiments, validate results, make important comparisons between projects and eventually publish that outstanding paper. But there are a few pipette pitfalls. And they don’t just trap…

Pipetting error tipsRead More

Advice for Working with Anaerobic Chambers

Working with anaerobic chambers is a unique skill set to have. It is only necessary if you are working with oxygen sensitive compounds. For example, some metallo-proteins require an oxygen free environment to stay in a reduced state, while others are sensitive and even reactive to oxygen. Sometimes working in anaerobic chambers requires a long…

anaerobic chambersRead More

Drift in Measurements with Analytical Balances

Pharmaceutical laboratories and bioscience research institutes make extensive use of analytical balances that are highly sensitive. These analytical balances are greatly affected by their environment and also by the way they are installed and handled. This is why it is important to assess the lab environment to make the required on-site adjustments. The weighing equipment…

Read More

How to Keep Your Centrifuge Alive

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, “the majority of all centrifuge accidents result from user error.” That’s right, it’s us. Many a machine has been destroyed by an unsuspecting scientist just in it for the pellet. The more expensive the machine, the more sensitive and the easier it is to break. Does your…

Read More

Ergonomics: How To Make Friends With Your Lab Environment

Proper laboratory ergonomics is often overlooked, but it’s crucial to the longevity of your research career. Ergonomics refers to the study of human efficiency in the working environment. This includes limiting stress on the body because a sore body is a less efficient body. If you have ever had a backache from sitting at the…

laboratory ergonomicsRead More

How to Choose the Right Pipette Tips for your Experiment

The precision and accuracy of even the best calibrated pipette can be wiped out if you choose the wrong kind of tips. Depending on the experiment you are doing, the wrong kind of tips can also make your pipette a source of contamination, lead to waste of precious samples or reagents—or even cause you physical…

Read More

Wrangling Your Liquid Handler

Sometimes working with a liquid handling machine seems a bit like wrangling a wild mustang—I know what I want it to do, but the software doesn’t work that way. That’s particularly true when working with 96-well plates. So, sometimes you have to think “outside the box.” Don’t limit yourself to what the manufacturer intended (but…

Read More

Anaerobic Tents: General Tips for Use in Molecular Biology

Interested in whether your protein uses oxygen to mediate reactions? Wondering if oxygen is keeping your enzyme from its duty? Then what you need as an anaerobic tent! These tips provide some basic knowledge to help you perform experiments using an anaerobic tent. What is an anaerobic tent? Most biologists who work in oxygen-free environments…

Read More

What To Do About Rust in Your Incubator

Ideally, your tissue culture incubator should be polished stainless steel, gleaming and immaculate like a surgical theatre. And I am sure you keep it in order, like new. It’s just sometimes you start in a lab where the incubators already have brown spots – rust. There’s Rust in My Incubator! Usually rust occurs because of…

Read More

Strengths and limitations of your Nanodrop

Quantifying a DNA, RNA or protein sample concentration is now as easy as a click of the pipette, a push of a button and a dab of tissue to clean up. Here’s what you need to know about a few of the strengths and limitations of your Nanodrop – before you set up. Take a…

Read More

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…

liquid handlerRead More

10 Tips for Working at the Bench in Developing Countries

Working in a lab in a developing country can be a unique and exciting opportunity for any scientist. It can be very rewarding, but also challenging as you navigate foreign settings to conduct your research. Here are ten tips for working at the bench in developing countries. 1.  Expect cultural differences Everyone approaches science differently…

Read More

How to Pick the Right Scale for Your Needs

There are many things that vary from one scale to the next. When picking which scale to buy or use, there are a few things to take into account: the two biggies being the maximum capacity and the readability range (also known as how sensitive the measuring system of the scale is). As both these…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

15 Laboratory Items You Can Buy In Any Store

A variety of lab supplies can be purchased off the shelf in your neighborhood, which can save you time and money* especially when compared to the added cost of shipping, handling, and markup of various items when ordering from lab vendors (*your mileage will vary). How to get reimbursed The method for procuring supplies on…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

How to Clean a Waterbath (When You Can’t Avoid it Any Longer)

There’s something disconcerting about going to incubate a sensitive and irreplaceable sample in a water bath, only to be confronted by the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Unfortunately, water baths are an inviting habitat for all kinds of life, are often shared by many users, and are a perennially unpopular item to clean.  To help…

Read More

10 Tips for Pipetting Perfection

Several years ago as a freshman in a research lab, the very first project I received was to pipette incremental micro-volumes of H2O onto a piece of parafilm. Boring! Weighing the liquid on parafilm and comparing the weight between 10 replicates for each micro-volume continued for a week before I touched anything else in that…

Read More

Infrared Thermometers as Infrared Laser Detectors

I recently read an article on WIRED about an optics experiment cooked up by the scientists at NIST to allow office workers to test for potentially dangerous infrared (IR) leakage by inexpensive laser pointers. Like many who read it, I wasted no time attempting to replicate their experiment on my desk. (I’m not sure why…

Read More

Pimp your Microcentrifuge

Microcentrifuges are pretty much the epitome of efficiency, but I have a couple of suggestions that may make using this instrument even easier. Divide by Three Not only is the number of tubes a microcentrifuge can hold divisible by two, but almost always by three as well. How does this help you? If you have…

Read More

Respect the Ultra

If a random sampling of my hallway is any indication, then half of you don’t think too much of using an ultracentrifuge, while the other half of you are scared to death of it. I think the best approach is right in between these two perspectives: have a healthy respect for the ultra. Here are…

Read More

eBay – The other source of lab equipment

While almost all of you are probably familiar with the power of eBay to bring you everything from concert tickets to electronics to your very own Batmobile, you may not have realized that the world’s largest garage sale also has quite a collection of laboratory equipment. I’ve been turning to this source for equipment for…

Read More

Lab Stuff I wish I could use in my kitchen

We recently had a feature from Jode on everyday equipment that you can use in the lab, but what about the other way around? Do you ever take a look at what you’re doing in the lab and think, “Wow, this would really come in handy at home?” Here are a few of the things…

Read More

How to Build a Plate Centrifuge for $25

I recently visited a lab that had a salad spinner on their lab bench and at first I wondered if they were putting together a salad lunch there but when I took a peek I got a nice surprise. It turns out that the salad spinner was actually a bench top, “minifuge” version of a…

Read More

Lab Hacks: Lab equipment from the hardware store

While almost every lab has a small toolbox with some screwdrivers, pliers, and such, here are some tools that may not have obvious utility at the bench, but could make your life easier. A Butane Torch If your OCD is as bad as mine, then watching a bubble flow out of the flask onto the…

Read More

RPM Does Not Equal RCF

RPM and RCF are two units that can be used to describe the speed of a centrifuge. Although they may look similar, they are oh-so-different and confusing them has resulted a disastrous end to many an experiment. So let’s set it out in black and white to make sure you don’t succumb to the same…

Read More

Low-Tech lab gadgets and solutions: My All Time Favs

For the record, as well as loving Red Dwarf, I’m a huge fan of MacGyver, the TV secret agent who could build any device from everyday items found in the room. You name it…he could build it in 60 seconds or less using only the chewing gum and dental floss found in his pocket, escape…

Read More
Scroll To Top