h a l f b a k e r y
Expensive, difficult, slightly dangerous, not particularly effective... I'm on a roll.
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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
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.
||centrifuge, too. Ironically not a cyclotron.
||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.
||I should add that a variety of slots are in the wheel rims
for 0.2ml-50ml centrifuge tubes, wouldn't want to waste
||//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.