Gel box less than 1 dollar
kang at msvax.mssm.edu
kang at msvax.mssm.edu
Thu Mar 9 22:55:56 EST 1995
Once I posted that I can make a gel tank which cost less than
1 dollar. I was so surprised by the responses from all over the
world. At first time, my greedy mind told me to file a patent
and make some fortune. However, I thought again and changed
my mind. Since it can help many people who does not have big
grant, I just decided let the idea go out.
I REALLY HOPE THIS SMALL IDEA CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEVELOPMENT
OF SCIENCE EVEN A LITTLE BIT.
My invention is simple.
USE CARBON ROD AS AN ELECTRODE INSTEAD OF PLATINUM WIRE. I
found the carbon core of pencil is a great electrode. If you
flame your pencil with the burner, only the core remains and
it is perfect for using. Although this electrode does not
last forever, you can use more than hundred times.
Getting box is also very simple. A guy mentioned a device
using Tupper (spelling?) ware. I don't against that idea but
I am using cheaper box. I found that BOX COME WITH PIPETTE
TIP is very good for gel box. You don't have to pay for the
How to make? It is also very simple.
Make two holes little bigger than the carbon core diameter
at opposite side of the bottom corners and pork in your
electrode through the hole. You can make hole easily by using
hot (flame with burner) Pasteur pipette. Electrode can be
fixed to the box using several kind of plastic glues. I am
using silicon glue but thinking epoxy glue will be the best.
The empty space of the hole also should be filled with glue.
The carbon electrode should be a little longer than the width
of the box so 0.5 cm of the electrode remains out side of the
However, here is one problem. How can you connect power? It
is also simple to figure out.
If you go electric shop like Radio Shock, you can find
alligator clip. Clip your electrode and connect it.
Because this device has a protruding electrode outside of the
box you should be careful for electric shock. I recommend
all the metal part of the clip and electrode be covered with
a vinyl tubing.
The beauties of this device is simplicity and economy.
However, real beauties are not those. Here are real beauties.
1. Running gel is much faster; If you apply the same voltage
you can run gel twice faster than submarine gel with mounted
bed. Usually I finish gel running within 20 min if it is not
a complicate DNA.
2. Only very small amount of buffer (I am using TAE) is
required and the buffer can be reused.--Dream of the environmentalist like me.
3. Resolution of the gel is incredibly clean.
4. Running of DNA band is very even, so you don't have a
skewed band patterns.
5. DNA purified from this gel is pure enough for ligation.
6. You can make double deck or triple deck gel without
I mentioned miracle gel box in my previous posting. However,
I think that device is a little dangerous if you are not
careful. So I decided not to reveal that one. I also
mentioned Fax sending or TIFF file transfer. However, I guess
whoever has common sense (I think all of you) can figure it
out without any problem. So, I am deleting that part.
Please tell me if you have another improvement
Wizard of TM (transgenic mice)
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