question about making phenol/TE and

Dr Engelbert Buxbaum engelbert_buxbaum at
Tue Sep 26 04:10:02 EST 2006

DK wrote:

> Obviously there is always a fine balance between saving time and 
> saving money. Ultimately, it comes to down to whether one believes
> that all lab work is "lab monkey" type. 

Here one should point out a fact often neglected in univeristy settings:
Time _IS_ money. In other words, if a PhD-student is employed to do
routine work when his/her time could be spend more productively, that's
waste. On the other hand, a certain training in the procedures is of
course required, people should not use, say, precast gels unless they
are able to cast decent ones themself. 

In this context I am deeply suspicious about proprietary reagents whose
composition is not published. If the company stops making them, how can
experiments be repeated? Yet reproducibility is the very foundation of
science. IMHO editorial boards have given too little (more precisely:
none) thought to this issue.

Ready made reagents do have considerable advantages though where
variability is an issue, think of gradient gels for example. Industrial
gels of identical batch number will certainly reduce run-to-run
variability in 2D-electrophoresis.

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