wetsel_r at wums.wustl.edu
wetsel_r at wums.wustl.edu
Wed Jul 15 11:36:09 EST 1992
>BRL Focus sometimes has nice articles regarding why we do the things we do, and
>whether it makes a difference. For instance, they tested parameters of ethanol
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>It has been an ongoing frustration of mine that much of the techniques and
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>I am very grateful to this discussion group for giving me clarifying
>information into the reasons for the things I do. it is sad that this is the
>only resource I've found for this purpose.
I share you sentiments. I too have learned much from this group
and I hope to keep learning more. You bring up a couple of points that I'd
like to expound on: "...why we do the things we do..."
For this type of information I have found the following books
absolutely essential. 1) The three volumes of Maniatis, 2) Current
Protocols in molecular biology (a.k.a., the Harvard manual), 3) Bernard
Perbal's, "A practical guide to molecular cloning" 2nd ed, 1988, by John
Wiley and Sons, and finally 4) Methods in Enzymology vol 152, 1987.
Other books that I have seen are so sketchy that they provide no
substantial background behind the protocol. These books are still
good for protocols. However, I usually end up going back to these four for
the reasons you state - needed background to know why we do it the way we
do. Books 1 & 2 are almost prohibitively priced to own, however, 3 & 4 are
modest in cost and I have found them invaluable as far as explaining WHY
you need to do certain things, EtOH ppt, alk-phos of vectors, etc...
As far as equipment goes... well.... join the club! ::grin:: Since
I began grad-school and since then, I've used 4 different
spectrophotometers and had to start from scratch in learning how all four
machines work and that just doesn't apply to specs! Nobody tells you in grad
school that you 1) need to know how the machine works, and 2) how to fix
the damn thing! I anticipated the first case, but not the second! Nobody
told me that I'd have to effectively "major" in small equipment maintenence
& repair as well, Gilson pipette cleaning and calibration, brush
replacement on microfuges and TJ-6's....
On your "taped" machine, it would be to your benefit to know what
that machine does and why, no matter how painful and time consuming it is
to figure it out! What if the machine were changed tomorrow? Could you
re-establish your experimental conditions and keep your science going? I
have no doubt that you would be able to do it! You come across as a sharp
individual who is willing to work.
I share your frustration. The only way I've been able to deal with
it is to have the attitude, "I'm going to figure out the theory and
operation of this (machine/protocol) if it kills me."
+ David L. Haviland, Ph.D. Internet:"haviland at kids.wustl.edu" +
+ Washington Univ. School of Med. A.K.A : The Compiler +
+ Dept. of Peds./Pulm. Box 8116 ICBM-Net : Just hit St. Louis +
+ 400 S. Kingshighway &-6 <- User is Brain Dead... +
+ St. Louis, MO 63110 FAX: 314-454-2476 +
+ (314) 454-6076 +
+ ------------------------------------- +
+ It's hard to decide if TV makes morons out of everyone or if it +
+ mirrors Americans who really are morons to begin with. +
+ - Martin Mull - +
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