wetsel_r at wetsel_r at
Wed Jul 15 11:36:09 EST 1992

>Hi group.
>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
	--- some deleted --- 
>It has been an ongoing frustration of mine that much of the techniques and
 	--- more deleted ---
>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.

>Daniel Kim
	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."
	Best regards...

+  David L. Haviland, Ph.D.	     Internet:"haviland at"   +
+  Washington Univ. School of Med.   A.K.A : The Compiler                 +
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+  (314) 454-6076                                                         +
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+		             - Martin Mull -                              +

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