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About IzziD wetlab

Most experimental biology knowledge is never published. We publish our scientific and technological advances, but there is no journal for the little tricks that make so large a difference when you are doing experiments. Much of experimental biology these days is kit-based, but even kits have their tricks. Do you want a little more yield from your Qiagen column? Heat the elution buffer to 60-65C before you elute. Are you trying to prepare genomic DNA for PCR reactions, but you just can't get the genomic DNA glue you've precipitated to go back into solution? Sonicate your sample very briefly prior to precipitation, and it'll go back into solution in a few seconds (the DNA will still be plenty long enough to amplify 1-4kb). How do you know which Taq is best for your PCR reaction? Or which gel rig would be the best purchase for your lab?

All of these little tips are passed around experimental labs like folklore. Most is true and will really help you out, and I'm sure a little is just legend - not useful but not harmful either. The problem is that it takes years to acquire a large enough set of tips to really be an effective and efficient experimentalist. If these tips and experimental advice were cataloged somewhere, lab newbies could get up to speed quicker and be more productive contributors to science.

As I learn new experimental biology tips and tricks, I'm going to place them on this site in the hope that they might help someone else out. I can't guarantee that what works for me will work for you, but if what you're trying isn't working than perhaps what I had success with will work for you.

As far as using kit-based or traditional experimental approaches, I learn both and pick the right tool for the right situation (which is usually the kit or some hacked version of the kit protocol). Focusing on one or the other slows you down (traditional) or keeps you ignorant of what you're actually doing (kit-based). Doing experiments can be a drag; maximizing your toolkit and your bag of experimental tricks will help you choose the right tool for the right job to obtain your data as quickly and as accurately as possible. I hope this site describing my experiences and tricks helps you in refining your experimental biology toolkit.