Field of Science

Tiny gels!

This is quite possibly the smallest gel I have ever run:

To put this in perspective, usual gel-running machines are big clunky plastic things about 40cm square (or a little more rectangular) with all sorts of wires and things sticking out of both ends and gels floating around in TAE buffer solution.

The swish little thing shown above was 10x20 cms. All compact, only one wire, and the agarose gels come pre-packed and all ready to run. The stain is gel-green as well, which shows up under blue light, so the gel rests on top of a blue-light box. When the gel is finished you put the orange filter on, switch on the light, and observe the bands.

And, well, look at it. It's the most stylish piece of equipment I've ever worked with. It's going to be so hard saying good bye when I move into my new lab in November.

We didn't even have to pay for it. It was a freebee kindly donated by Invitrogen for our synthetic biology project.

(In case anyone was wondering the bands are just standard DNA ladders. We dug all the old ladders out of the freezer to see if they were working still. They are...but they're kind of in the wrong range, they are for little pieces of DNA and all our genes so far are looking like they're going to be quite big.)


John Farrell said...

Hey-did Apple design these? Sure looks like it.


Lab Rat said...

I have no idea! it was a freebee from Invitrogen, I don't know what designers they use.