Thursday, September 2, 2021

The Engineer-it Kit

 

I received "The Engineer-it Kit" from Amino Labs. It is a bacterial transformation kit.

I read about this kit in the book I talked about in an earlier post - "Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero: The Beginner's Guide To Programming Bacteria At Home, School and In the Makerspace."

By Justin Pahara and Julie Legault.

If you are a beginner in bio-engineering this is a good place to start. The kit is well priced, I felt shipping was a bit high but that is probably out of their control. It comes with almost everything you need, except the hardware. You do need a incubator (they do supply you with a video link to build a very simple one ), a hot and a cold water bath. I used an ice bath for my cold bath. They do have an all in one hardware that will do all of this, that you can purchase. Though it is expensive.
 
 

 
 
They made this kit to be as simple and easy to use as possible, even a beginner can do it. They supply you with everything you need:

Bacteria, plasmid, antibiotic, agar, petri-dishes, inoculation loop, streak template and even the sterile water.

They give you a manual.

Here is a video showing you all steps in the protocol.

You can even use a simulator to do the protocol.

If you are interested in bio-engineering this is a good way to start. As well they have other kits that you can purchase separately. This way it is not a huge outlay of money all at once.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

WOW!!! 100,000 Page Views


Can you believe it? I have just passed 100,000 page views. I know I can't. When I first started this blog, I thought no one would look at it. But surprisingly I have received comments and emails from around the world. I hope everyone has enjoy reading this blog as much as I have putting down my thoughts and doings.

It has been a busy couple of months. I do have many projects I have been working on and will be posting them over the next little while. So stay tuned!!

Thank you for reading my blog. I do hope to continue adding to it for a long time.

Lawrence

 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Shaker

Shaker

Image 1
Image 1

 
 
Visiting another second hand store I found this shaker. I have been thinking of making my own for quite sometime and I will still try to make my own at a later date. As can be seen (Image 1) it needed a lot of cleaning outside and in. It worked as is but seemed to struggle to get started. After taking it apart I saw it was full of grime and dirt. Once I cleaned that up it works really  well.
 
 
Image 2

 
Image 3



The platform holds 15 ml conical tubes. The platform comes off very easily so I am going to build different platforms to hold different types of tubes, flasks, beakers and jars. But in the mean time I 3D printed these holders (Image2) for 50 ml conical tubes, 250 ml flasks and 500 ml mason jars. I also printed a yellow tab (Image 3) that fits in the platforms holes to hold these holders in place(Image 4). This is until I can build new platforms to hold each item. I also want to build petri dish holders for it to.
 

Image 4

 
Again a second hand find turns out real well. You do have to visit many different second hand stores to find something you might need or can use. Many times I do not find anything that I can use, but I see things that gives me ideas of what I might be able to build or use.


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Media Pump

Using a Syringe Filter to Sterilize Media:


Syringe and Filter

I picked up some syringe filters from Amazon figuring I could use a syringe to pass my media or water through the filter. As seen in photo the filter screws on to the top of syringe. This filter membrane has a pore size of .22 micrometers. This should easily sterilize the fluids.


Parts

 

Thinking there must be an easier way to run the media or water through the filter I picked up a 12V DC DIY Peristaltic Liquid Pump from Amazon. As seen in this image as well as the pump I picked up air hose tubing and airline tubing connectors from a pet store. The connectors allows different sized tubing to fit together.


Fitting to hold filter


I had a medical drop administration set I found at a flee market. This has the same type of connection as the syringe tip has, allowing the filter to screw on. As seen in the above image.


Unit put together


In the final image you can see the whole unit put together. I am using a 12 volt wall adapter hooked up to the motor speed controller (previous project) to control the pump motor. The filter holder was made with a 1/4 inch dowel and clothes pin glued together.

I pump the fluids through the system slowly as to hopefully not cause a big mess if it ever backs up. I intend to mount the pump into a weighted box so I don't set it up when I need to use it.


Monday, January 25, 2021

Motor Speed Controller

I found this motor speed controller module at an electronics surplus store. This will allow me to build a controller module that I am able to control more than one devise by just plugging and unplugging each device.

 
 
 
Parts Used in Build

 
As can be seen in the first image there is the controller, case for the controller, wire, control knob, male power connector (black and green) and female power connector (black and green).
 
 
 
Put Together and Working



 
 
In the second image you see it put together. I ended up using 2 female power connectors. It was very easy to put together. I connected a DC motor to test how it works. I am very pleased with the device. The power connectors are labelled with 'M' for motor output and 'P' for power input. Using these female connectors I am now able to connect different power adapters(3v - 12v).

The power connectors(found at an electronics surplus store) are also a great find. With these I can create different connectors and adapters. People are always throwing unused power adapters at me so now I can use them no matter what end they have. Wires are screwed in at one end of the connector. Where the wires connect it is labeled with either '+' or '-'. So if you find any get some.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

 Second-Hand Store Finds

Second-hand stores can be a great place to find lab equipment and science kits. Though it is a hit or miss. Many times there is nothing to be had there. The biggest drawback can be the cost of the items. Some places charge outrageous prices for items. So be careful when looking and buying.

I found some electronic equipment I intend to use in some of my experiments.

1) A SOAR Corp. analog CRT based oscilloscope. From the simple tests I have done with it, it seems to be working fine.
 
 

Oscilloscope



2) A Cenco A.C. volt meter.

A.C. Meter


3) A electronic breadboard. To this I had to add the binding posts myself. Luckily I had some in my lab. The posts did not fit the holes. I did not want to buy any new ones so I designed and 3D printed fittings for the holes that the posts fit into. You can see the yellow fittings under the posts.


Breadboard


For less than $30 I picked up some useful equipment for my lab.



Sunday, November 8, 2020

Another Science Kit

Science Kit

I found this kit at a second-hand store.

Magnetism Kit


"Magnetics Science Kit" - The science of magnets and ferrofluid. This second kit I also found for $10 at a second-hand store. I have wanted to start to look at ferrofluids and when I found this I figured this would be good way to start.
 
 




It comes with:
1 bottle of ferrofluid
iron filings
15 magnets
steel balls
copper tube
PVC track
Experiment guide
Etc.

I will more than likely still produce my own ferrofluids (you can find this online) but this gives me a start.

Finding kits at reduced or discounted prices (look after Christmas) and or used kits at second hand shops you are still able to get started in many different sciences and build your own lab.

Science Kit

Science Kit

I came across this kit, one at a department store.

Kit 1

The first kit "Charge" - This was on a clearance sale for $10 from $34.95. It was new in package. Taking a look at it and finding out it had the parts to build your own Van de Graaff generator, I figured I would like to build one so why not try it.

Van de Graaff Generator

It's manual is very basic but a good start. From common items they show you how to build a Leyden Jar, Electroscope, electrostatic motor, Franklin Bell and of course the Van de Graaff generator. There are many youtube videos showing you how to build these items but for only $10 I get many of the pieces to build the generator.

I have been wanting to begin to experiment with high voltages and with this kit I should be able to start.



Sunday, October 4, 2020

Book: Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero:

Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero: The Beginner's Guide To Programming Bacteria At Home, School and In the Makerspace.

By Justin Pahara and Julie Legault.



This is a newer book. As well as discussing older books I will be looking at newer books to. I just received this book from Amazon. It is a very interesting book. As the title states it takes you from beginning basics to the understanding of bio-engineering. There are at least 9 lab exercises to do. From DNA extraction to manually turning on genes.

It has a section called "Setting up your Genetic Engineering Hero Space". Covers bio-safety and governmental regulations. The book has sections giving you the background information of what is happening and why.

Other than the first exercise, DNA extraction, the other exercises require different kits from the supplier of the book. This can get costly but each kit can be purchased separately, which may help in keeping the costs down. It seems the kits have everything you need to do the experiments easily. The hardware is extra - incubator, water bath, etc.

It also requires a lab hardware kit, called, "The DNA Playground Minilab". It incubates, cools and heat shocks the material. This can be costly. But if you follow this blog most of the hardware needed you can build yourself.  

I will see if I can get some of the lab exercise kits and try them out. I will discuss this in a later post.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Laser Projector Microscope

Equipment needed:

Laser pointer(green 532 nm) or red, Syringe(10ml), screen or wall, apparatus to hold laser and syringe in place, sample(from my aquarium).

Green Laser Pointer

 
In the diagram above you can see how the microscope is set up. The laser beam runs through the specimen droplet that is formed below the syringe. This produces an image on a screen on the other side of the droplet.
 
 
Image on Screen


Moving the laser closer and further away will bring the object in focus. Even if not completely clear or bright you can see the organisms swimming around. You can make out some detail to try and identify the organism.

 

Beam on Droplet






After reading some more on the laser microscope I found that the drop of water acts as a small spherical lens which magnifies the image. I tried the red laser pointer but the image was not as bright. I will look further into this in the future.