What this country needs . . .

kim at m44.unm.edu kim at m44.unm.edu
Thu Jul 11 17:19:27 EST 1991

What this country needs . . . is a good $50.00 microfuge.

I have a "Personal microfuge" from Millipore.  It holds 6 1.5 ml tubes, and is
able to pellet DNA from an Ethanol precipitation, if the concentration is high
enough.  It retails for about $300.00.

I was wondering why these things cost so damn much.  Also in the lab where I
work there is a Braun coffee mill, which cost about $15.00.  It spins the
chopper blades at least as fast as the personal centrifuge.  

Does anyone out there have any idea how to convert a coffee mill into a
personal centrifuge?  Such a conversion need not be very extensive, but would
save a lot of money.  

As long as I'm at it, let me list two other cheap alternatives (These exist)

1.  "Rival Hot Pots" can be used as very cheap ($12.00) thermostatically
controlled water baths (Described in BioTechniques).  After buying them, they
have to be screened to determine the temperature of the lowest heat setting,
but all temperatures above the baseline are available to the user.  

2.  Recirculation of horizontal agarose gels is often accomplished using
expensive ($80.00 to 300.00) peristaltic pumps.  Edmund Scientific offers a
battery-operated impeller-driven pump for about $3.00.  I hve not found a way
to use this particular pump very conveniently, but small electric motors can be
had from places like Radio Shack for around $2.00 which can be used to power a
home-made impeller driven pump made out of two syringes.  I will try to post a
complete description once I get the method down.

Does anyone out there have any other cheap alternatives to expensive lab
equipment that they can share?

Daniel kim

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