Tuesday, August 31, 2010
At a Thrift Shop I found another aquarium heater for $2.00. I built a lab support stand from a piece of wood and a wooden dowel. Found the clamp and clamp holder at a surplus store for $2.00 each. A lab thermometer I already had. The Pyrex dish I have as well. The thermometer holder was made from a clothespin, plastic tube from a toy car and tape (I will add glue to make it permanent). The aquarium heater is placed in lab clamp and thermometer holder is placed in the clamp holder that clamped to the support stand. Then place all of this into a dish, beaker, etc. Make sure it is large enough to allow other lab equipment to sit in the water bath. And there you have a nice water bath for the lab.
You can use an aquarium thermometer instead of the lab one. You can find these at second-hand stores or in the trash or even buy a new very cheaply. I will be looking at using the slow cooker I found as a water bath as well. It does not have a way to set the temperature as easily as the above water bath can. It has 3 settings to use.
Water baths are a very important item in the lab and this was a relatively inexpensive way to make one.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
More of My Lab
This picture shows more of my lab. Most of my biological work gets done here.
Over the summer I have picked up many discarded items:
VCR's - they have motors that can move things and timers to set things up.
Blenders, slow cookers (maybe able to use for water baths), electric cup warmers (again use for water baths), aquarium and aquarium heaters.
A great book I found a bit out-dated: Recombinant DNA a Short Course by James Watson, John Tooze and David Kurtz. It is a short course on DNA manipulation, so far a very interesting read. I found this at a second hand book store for $1.00.
Another book I have read over the summer was "A Life Decoded" by Craig Venter. It deals with Venter's time dealing with the human genome group, as well as other parts of his life.
If you want plenty to read and watch, go to www.hhmi.org. There is so much there, so much information. You can even download their journal as PDF files. They have interactive labs, etc.