Ordering supplies for home lab

From: Glen J.
Sent on: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 7:14 PM
NOTE: Forgive the long email, I do eventually get to the point: making a combined order for some more supplies.

Before I ever went to the "Interleukin expression in E. coli Part I" lab, I had the mental impression that this "garage lab" was a small place with 'make do' components. For example, I imagined, instead of an autoclave, there would be a pressure cooker (I've been very successful at this?substitution and in my mind thought this is what a 'home lab' would have).

The lab was fully stocked with real equipment - like I see at UC Berkeley where I work. That's great, but as I build my own personal home lab, I don't have those resources. I'm hoping to find tips and tricks that have been tried and tested -- especially those that will save on material costs (even if less convenient for me).

The "Interleukin expression in E. coli Part I" lab was very helpful to see how much more equipment that I need. For example, for the samples of e. coli that I've been growing, I don't have a shaker or an incubator. So, I just finished building a small boarduino kit (Aurduino microcontroller on a breadboard with an external thermister) to act as the brains of my home-made incubator. I'm still working on how to make the physical components for a shaker.

I still need more equipment to duplicate the experiment we did at supersalad's lab.?

I am going to make a large order and wanted to know if anyone wants to split the order with me. I go for reusable, good value, and cost-effective stuff whenever possible.?For example, I purchased sets of glass petri dishes so I can autoclave them and reuse them -- this worked well.

I have to share:

* Extra medium; I have MacConkey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacConkey_agar) and Nutrient (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutrient_agar) Agar mixes. I had to buy a larger volume and have some extra if anyone wants to split it with me

I still need:

* LB Medium; I saw that I can order LB Medium (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysogeny_broth) for an Agar; But, I only see it sold as agar and without agar. I'd prefer to find a way to get both with and without agar in a very cheap way.

*?Eppendorf Tubes; I found some tubes that were autoclavable when open (121?C, 20 min) *reusable* *awesome* However, my eyes cross with all of the searching. I'm thinking 1.5 ml tubes. However, I'd also like to try to find something that would work for PCR (I'm *so* far away from that; but I'm hoping for either reusable parts or for a supply of?disposable?parts that I can use for PCR <strike>if</strike> when I get there some day).

* I found some racks like we used in the "Interleukin expression in E. coli Part I" lab. However, the 4-in one racks like they use at the UC Berkeley labs have be used for other sizes later (http://www.enasco.com/product/SB42160M) too. (Again, reusable and more bang for the buck).

* Micropipette tips; I've not had any luck finding glass micropipette tips. Do these even exist? In my mind, I think "if they're stored in a sterile box like normal pipette tips, why couldn't the tips be glass, put back in an the [autoclavable] box and autoclaved?" Obviously, care would have to be taken not to have extra particulate matter in the tip. So, I imagine it would have to be flushed several times immediately after use. Is there such a thing? ?Tips aren't all *that* expensive in comparison, but this gives you an idea of my thinking and the budget that I'm on.

* Cryoagents; I'm thinking of?concentrating?on items that are easiest to get in smaller quantities and for the typical home lab (i.e., small and old school). Several good ones were mentioned outside of the lab too. I'm going to need a tiny *tiny* amount of each of these -- it's a shame to buy so much just to determine what will work best.
?? ? ? Also "dirt cheap"... *whoo hoo*
?? ?o Glycerol (is there any extra from the experiments we did? May I buy some?)
?? ?o DMSO (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimethyl_sulfoxide); Not ideal for a home lab in my opinion, but I'm a newb. (May I buy extra from lab)?
?? ?o Glycol (ditto the above two in buying a small amount left over from the lab)?

With the above, we could individually do a more exhaustive type of experiment and get experience at what works and what doesn't work with e.coli at home. Heck, even colony counting is good experience for me at this point.

If you have any suggestions for the above, know any tips on how to be effective yet thrifty, please let me know.


Whatever you can do or imagine, begin it;
boldness has beauty, magic, and power in it.

-- Goethe

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