Electrophoresis safety question

D. KIM dkim at NMSU.Edu
Mon Aug 3 16:21:06 EST 1998


While I don't want the world to think of me as some kind of idiot :), I
have placed unprotected fingers in 100 V agarose/TAE minigel rigs while
running, with no ill effects.

The setup described below in the previous post sounds like it would yield
a dangerous work environment and also no sequence data.   With a major
short circuit, all the current would run through the aluminum plate and
very little would make it through the more resistant gel.

Now, I am not an engineer (that's why I eat cheap ramen, while my brother
goes out to lunch :)), so don't flame me for poor electrical knowledge,
but it kind of makes sense, doesn't it?

Daniel Kim


Koichi Kunitake <kunitake at salk.edu> wrote:
: In article <3586E885.1C1B at chugaibio.com>, dspinella at chugaibio.com,
: @chugaibio.com wrote:

: <major snippage>
:   
:    While I have never touched a 100V agarose gel when it was running, we
: had a guy who worked in the lab who was running a sequencing gel at about
: 2000V. We of course ran the gel with a metal plate behind it to soak up
: the heat, but it turns out that the upper reservoir was leaking and it
: leaked onto the metal plate, which was also contacting the lower
: reservoir, since the buffer in the lower reservoir was wicked up the back
: of the plate. 



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