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Thermal CycleEr

Add exercise into the Molecular Biologist's day
  [vote for,

Thermal cyclers are pretty simple pieces of technology. They're essentially just a Peltier element which is used to heat and cool a sample, and a microcontroler, to, you know, control it. Normally, they're kept in the corner, quietly doing their thing. They're usually used to cycle through various temperatures to facilitate the various steps of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

This is boring, the whole shebang runs on about 12V DC inside, so let's mount it on the back of a bicycle. Hook up the electrics to a hub generator and off you go! A nice 3 hour cycle is what every molecular biologist craves. Admittedly, the power requirements will get a bit taxing when the temperature shifts up to 95C, but you can just treat the demand as an artificial hill. You'll pedal through it if you don't want to ruin the result! While you may be sacrificing 3 hours of some student's time, you'll find that the 2 cents saved on the electricity bill more than makes up for it.

bs0u0155, Dec 11 2014


       centrifuge, too. Ironically not a cyclotron.
FlyingToaster, Dec 11 2014

       Shame on you, [bs0]. You've been in the business long enough to know that, while your PCRs are running, you can load a gel. And while the gel's running, you can do a miniprep. And while the miniprep's spinning, you can be making up loading dye. And while the Ficoll is dissolving, you can be getting something from stores.   

       Also if your PCRs are taking 3hr, you are either doing something wrong or trying to amplify something that won't amplify anyway.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 11 2014

       I should add that a variety of slots are in the wheel rims for 0.2ml-50ml centrifuge tubes, wouldn't want to waste an opportunity.   

       //while your PCRs are running, you can load a gel.//   

       Wait, I don't think you get this at all. It goes PCR > Gel. PCR = Horse, gel = cart. That's the order, I refuse to contemplate parallel witchcraft. Anyhow, while your PCR is running, you drink tea and contemplate making the gel... until you realize that Steve is running a gel tomorrow anyway, and as you only need 4 lanes... done. Call it a pint Steve. Then you go and do a bit of cell culture. //do a miniprep// If I don't end up with 4-6 mg of DNA I consider myself a failure. I'm waiting for the 5- gallon bucket prep.
bs0u0155, Dec 11 2014


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