Electrophoresis safety question

jgriffin at incyte.com jgriffin at incyte.com
Tue Jun 16 13:46:52 EST 1998

We run alot of horizontal agarose gels in our lab using standard power packs
at 100V (DC -- up to 3 amps) with 1X TAE running buffer.

A number of people run their gels without the lid on, meaning there are open
gel rigs running on the bench.	My question is:  Is this dangerous, and, if
so, how dangerous?  I know that if I actually touched the wires in the box I
would be badly (fatally?) shocked.  Would touching the buffer with one
(unprotected) hand do anything to me?  With both hands?  With nitrile gloves

I don't know enough about electricity to know how dangerous this is.
Intuitively, it seems bad, but in reality perhaps it isn't.  I always wear
gloves when working around the boxes, because of EtBr, but I am always a
little worried about taking a gel out of a rig only to find it on for some
reason. It's not the sort of thing I want to experiment with on my own, and
was hoping someone with more lab experience would have some insight into

Thanks in advance,

Jen Griffin
jgriffin at incyte.com

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