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- Tim Hsiau
- Anderson Lab, Berkeley
Molecular Biology tips and tricks
- PCR Master Mix
Make your own PCR master mix that you can freeze and reuse. You can duplicate the Roche FastStart PCR Master mix by simply making a lot of your own master mix, aliquoting it into tubes, and freezing. This mastermix is great for diagnostic colony PCRs, where you can get away with the sloppier Taq polymerase, but also has worked fine with Expand and Phusion in our hands.
You can probably apply this approach to other commonly performed reactions as well. Takara sells a DNA Ligation Mighty Mix that's simply a pre-mixed solution of T4 Ligase, ATP, and PEG (optional, helps speed up the ligation).
- Buy scoops for commonly made media
Molecular biology labs go through a lot of LB media and, consequently, some poor grad student has the pleasant job of inhaling LB powder dust while measuring out the 25 grams of LB powder that goes into each liter of DI water. You can make media preparation faster and safer by buying premade scoops. We've found that 32cc or 33cc scoops hold 26 grams of LB powder. Scoops can be had by requesting samples from National Measures or buying from http://www.lemelange.com/scoop.htm