What makes gels smile?

mullenlynne at .jsei.ucla.edu mullenlynne at .jsei.ucla.edu
Sat Dec 7 17:26:37 EST 1996

In article <32A8CEAE.68E at molbio.uoregon.edu>, <Thomas at molbio.uoregon.edu> writes:
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> From: Matt thomas <Thomas at molbio.uoregon.edu>
> Newsgroups: bionet.molbio.methds-reagnts
> Subject: What makes gels smile?
> Date: Fri, 06 Dec 1996 16:55:58 -0900
> Organization: U of O
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> Anyone have any ideas on how to prevent gels from smileling?  In 
> particular I'm talking about Urea/acrylamide gels, the kind typically 
> used for sequenceing.  I've heard all kinds of folk lore on this but 
> I'm interested in if anyone has a sure fire way to keep the smile from 
> happening.  
> I've tried running fast or slow, long or short prerunning times, long 
> or short polymerization times, but I haven't seen a real correlation 
> between all these.  
> Any suggestions would be helpfull.
> Thanks,
> Matt thomas
> Thomas at molbio.uoregon.edu
The previous posts have given great suggestions, so my only 2cents to add is :
How are you pouring your gel? Are you using tape, paper clamps (like we do) or 
clamps from a company like BioRad?
	My own personal experience with paper clamps actually caused smiling 
to occur. If you place the clamps over the spacers and not on top of the 
spacers, then you will have uneven distribution of acrylamide that will cause 
smiling or frowning. Also, I used to clamp the two plates together at the top 
of the gel for the comb. That also causes problems...you just need to clamp 
the comb to the bottom plate.
	We prerun our gels for 10 minutes, then load, and no smiles since (at 
least on the gels) . :)

	Lynne Mullen
	UCLA Macula Center

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