3 Top Electrical Goods Useful in the Lab

An electrical coffee grinder (designed specifi...

An electrical coffee grinder (designed specifically for coffee beans, but the owner uses it for chopping twigs/teatwigs and tealeaves for making teas/infusions (Photo: Wikipedia)

Following  a resounding success of the article about  10 everyday things useful in  the lab, I compiled a hit parade of household electrical equipment useful  in the lab:

3) Coffee grinder – to grind large amounts of frozen cells. Just keep topping up with liquid nitrogen, it is surprisingly effective.

2) Hair drier – to assist with defrosting the glaciers in the lab freezer. Although I prefer plastic boxes with tap hot water: they don’t use electricity and working electrical equipment near water is always a bad idea.

1) Microwave is that piece of technology, which is indistinguishable from magic: an empty box that heats and boils whatever you put in it and even starts fireworks, if you place a piece of foil into it (I hope we are all adults here, please don’t do it).

In the lab you can use a microwave to:

* quickly heat up a small amount of water/TE/elution buffer to improve elution yields from spin columns;

*reduce antigen masking as part of immunohistochemistry protocol by microwaving slides for 5 minutes;

* melt agarose for gels for separating DNA and even proteins;

* melt autoclaved and solidified agar-containing media to pour plates for microorganisms;

* quickly heat up a buffer containing precipitated due to low temperature SDS or salts;

* emergency pastuerize of microorganism growth medium, when you decide to transform E.coli at  7 p.m. and there is no plates or autoclaved media and your lab autoclave has a notice “do not use” for the last 4 weeks.

Do you think my hit-parade missed something or know more microwave uses? Please, comment.


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