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 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.
- How to make solid culture medium plates for yeast culture (instructables.com)