Skip to content

Basic Lab Skills and Know-how

Are Proteins Adsorbing to Your Labware?

One of my favorite things about being a biochemist is to imagine everything at the molecular level—sometimes, in very corny ways. I envision the proteins I pipet and mix as dynamic characters in a molecular soap opera that intermingle with each other in complex ways. The biomolecular characters in my soap opera interact and react,…

Read More

Working in a Cold Room Without a Parka?

Have you ever needed to work in a cold room for a long period of time? For example, if you need to dialyze or purify a protein of interest that is temperature sensitive, working in a 4°C cold room might be the only way to accomplish the work. Well, you are in luck. I dislike…

Read 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

Starting Up a New Lab: What you Need to Know

Here’s a few things to take into consideration when starting up a new lab. Starting anything new is understandably overwhelming, but let’s break it down and go through the main points of designing your own laboratory. Purpose of Your New Lab The purpose and function of your proposed lab sets the course for the tasks…

Read More

Top Tips to Avoid Multi-sample Labeling Chaos

Imagine pipetting your publication experiment and then your favourite lab mate has an urgent question, which of course you helpfully answer. But when you finally turn back to your experiment you suddenly are not sure which pipetting step you were at. It’s happened to us all! Efficiently keeping track of your samples in a sometimes…

Read More

Shaky, Steady, Go! Give Tremors the Shake

Performing a surgery or extracting tissue from your experimental animal, when you are a beginner, can set you off with involuntary trembling. Strong dyskinesia symptoms appear out of nowhere. The shaking can hinder your otherwise flawless execution of the task. And yes, it’s irritating that it occurs precisely at the moment when you need your…

Read More

Hot, Frozen, Sublimed and Blown: Biological Sample Storage Methods Summarized – Part One

I’ve recently been doing some lyophilization of biological extracts. While I was preparing for the experiment, I became interested in the number of different methods there are for drying, concentrating and storing samples: freezing, freeze-drying, rotary evaporation, centrifugal evaporation and blow down drying. Here is a brief description of each technique for biological sample storage…

Read More

The Five Essentials of Organizing Laboratory Samples

If you look closely, there’s a scenario that plays out frequently in labs across the world: A scientist sits hunched over dry ice searching exhaustedly through frozen boxes for one sample that has disappeared into the abyss. The tube or specimen in question was likely catalogued at some point in time. But, between then and…

Read More

How to Clean and Maintain Scales

Spring time means spring cleaning! Baby birds are hatching, the days are getting longer, there are butterflies everywhere and you feel inspired to do a good deep clean of your lab scales. We can’t help you sing like Snow White so that animals come help you clean but we can help you get your scales…

Read More

Get To Know Your Common Reaction Reagents

When I first started out in the lab, I used to follow all protocols to the letter. Now, this is fine as long as your reactions run smoothly. However, there came the day when I had a new protocol and I just couldn’t get it to work. My supervisor told me to just “play around”…

Read More
Scroll To Top