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Explain to me this... [May. 18th, 2011|06:01 pm]
Lab Rats

[mood |crankycranky]

How can the truck that delivers the gas drive all the way down from the depot (3 hours away) with an EMPTY TANK.

Did no-one check?!!!

No Argon. No ICP. No samples read.

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Suggestions from Tech Support [Feb. 2nd, 2011|11:09 pm]
Lab Rats

I work in technical support for one of the life sciences companies.  This may make me certifiably crazy, but it also means I have a few things I can share with my fellow Lab Rats.  So here goes, a few tips from your friendly neighborhood biosciences tech support monkey.  I'm not speaking for all tech support monkeys, of course, but I think these things are fairly universal.

A short list of tipsCollapse )
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Electronic notebooks [Dec. 18th, 2010|10:38 pm]
Lab Rats


With the advent of tablet PCs, pads, and such, I was wondering whether it was worth considering the futuristic model of the venerable lab notebook. Is it time to go paperless? On the plus side, there is the possibility to integrate audio (narration),  schematics, and  photos, with the text, and have all the information uploaded into a centralized server (the idea came to my mind after I had to work my way through a couple of notebooks of a student who had recently left... :) :) ). On the minus side, it is much easier to loose the information, there is the possibility of tampering, patenting issues, and cost. 

Has anyone tried? If yes, how did it go, what hardware/software was used, any other helpful information... :)

Thanks and season's greetings everyone!
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Immunoglobulin clearing products? [Nov. 3rd, 2010|03:20 pm]
Lab Rats

Hey everybody,

So after a few times of running a Western that refused to work right in spite of everything that we threw at it, we called the company and they offered a very illuminating bit of insight (and, might I add, a bit of a D'oh! moment for me--seriously, I've rarely felt so stupid): We're running rabbit tissue, and our secondary antibody is (you guessed it) anti-rabbit.

Does anybody have a preferred method for clearing Igs out of a protein lysate? I've seen Protein G beads, which seem to be the most promising, but can anybody recommend one product/method over another?

Thanks in advance!
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Shelf...er....Freezer Life [Oct. 26th, 2010|04:01 pm]
Lab Rats

So I need non-heat-inactivated serum for an experiment.  The stuff I have in the lab is all heat inactivated, except for a few bottles...from 1996.  Would the complement and other serum factors still be active, or should I just chuck it just in case? 

The boss is one of those guys who just hates throwing anything out and would rather I at least attempt to use it.  I'm...hesitant.  This stuff has been in the -20C for over a decade.  The bottles are all still sealed, but...yea....  :-/    Is there anything written in a protocol manual or anything that specifically states complement degrades in FBS over time, even at -20C?  Just in case I have to justify ordering new stuff. 
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looking for help [Oct. 8th, 2010|06:06 pm]
Lab Rats

Hello magnificent people!!!

I need some help.

Part of my PhD project is to be done here in the USA and it involves petroleum.

The thing is, I don't need a huge amount of it. I mean, a barrel is way too much petroleum for me. So I can't really go out and buy it.

I was wondering if maybe someone has access to a sample of petroleum that he/she is will to share?

I need 300ml of a low density petroleum, hopefully similar to 20 to 23 API grade and hopefully recently drilled. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

thanks in advance.

x-posted all over.
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Western Blot [Sep. 28th, 2010|01:15 pm]
Lab Rats

 Hi everyone,

How much protein does one typically need for a Western blot? I am interested in typical amounts and limits (what's the smallest amount one has tried and succeeded with detecting).

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DTL: Digestion, Transformation, Ligation [Sep. 17th, 2010|07:27 pm]
Lab Rats


Molecular biology, the Jersey Shore way.

Not sure in what fractions to laugh and cry.
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F*ck you very much, too [Sep. 16th, 2010|02:03 pm]
Lab Rats

Last December I spent about a month figuring out why my blots weren't working. Eventually I came to the conclusion that just about everything my PI told me (no overlay, no beta-mercaptoethanol in the loading buffer) was wrong and if I just did everything the way I've always done things, then it would be all right (I still haven't told her about all of the things I do that aren't in her original protocol).

These past two weeks I've spent no less than 12 hours cutting sections on a cryotome for a fluorescent stain. My PI showed me how to do the staining a while ago, and of course I took notes so that I could do everything again when the time came. So yesterday, I did the staining, and then today I took the images. Only to learn that the slides had been overstained and the pictures were, essentially, useless: my PI, it turns out, actually did not stain for 1 hour, but more like 35 minutes (it's in her lab notebook somewhere).

I'm just...WTF, seriously? Were you ever going to, like tell me? I mean, for heaven's sake--and she wonders why I make it a point to try to keep her as far away from my lab as I possibly can.
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bah humbug cloning [Sep. 10th, 2010|08:53 pm]
Lab Rats

[mood |tiredtired]

So I like my new job, but the first phase of my project involves a lot of cloning. When I finished my phd project I said "No more! I hate cloning! I won't do it!" and now I think I remember why.

I'm getting really low efficiency for no apparent reason and while I now have 4 of 11 things I'm trying to clone, all of them came from just a single colony on each of the respective plates. And yes, that's better than a whole plate full of incorrect clones you have to try and screen your way through. And yes, in the end you only need one to be right, but I just don't know why it's so inefficient. And two of the clones I sequenced this week have totally the wrong thing in them (guess my primers weren't so specific...). meh

If anyone has any awesome tips for getting LIC to work well, let me know...
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