Back to Protocols
Machines available as of 6/2013
|Thermocycler location||Appearance||Brand||Capabilities/Quirks||Manual||Use restrictions*|
|Janet's bench||black||DNA Engine: DYAD||small block doesn't do gradient; large block does||n/a||none|
|Amanda's window||white & new||Eppendorf: Mastercycler gradient||gradient (left --> right), but see manual b/c it is weird||Mastercycler Gradient||none|
|Frances' window||black & old||DNA engine||no gradient||n/a||none|
|Nate's Bench||white, smaller||Eppendorf: ??||no gradient||##||none?|
|Alexey's Bench||old beige||BioRad: S1000||2 gradient blocks. Gradient = front to back. 50uL max||S1000||none|
|Ceci's window||white, small||Eppendorf: ??||no gradient||??||(see note 2 below)|
|Marina's Bench||black||??||real-time PCR (see note 3 below)||??||(see note 1 below)|
Note 1: All PCR system in the lab are public, but coordination of use helps
Note 2: "I would like to be informed if anyone is planning to use it, as this summer we will use it heavily. But everybody is welcome to use the machine in my bench as long as people let me know so I can plan accordingly." - Ceci 6/2013
Note 3: for RNA quantification. Could do regular gradient PCR if needed, but is usually only used for RNA.
Specific Tips for Individual Machines
- Folders are possible.
- To save a protocol, scroll to the bottom and press cancel. It will ask you whether or not you want to save.
- Using a gradient:
- You set two numbers for the boundary temperatures.
- Setup the gradient inside a protocol. You can't view the position temperatures from this interface.
- To view a gradient:
- Start the protocol with the gradient you entered, and promptly quit the protocol. Then press the "Screen" button on the left.
- Closing the lid:
- The door action is very unusual. Press back, then lower the arm. Twist the cap until a tiny amount of resistance is felt, then tighten about a quarter turn. It is easy to crush your tubes.
What makes for a good thermocycler?
- gradient block(s)
- multiple blocks on one machine
- reduces the need to enter programs into many machines
- allow for saving of protocols in folders
- different researchers can have different folders, preventing the accumulation of a huge list of protocols, and others accidentally writing over other peoples' protocols
- large maximum volume per tube (100 uL is common)
- Good for building purification-scale quantities of product.
- quiet heating & cooling
- It is very distracting to have a noisy thermocycler right next to your head while you need to do focused thinking!
- intuitive menu hierarchy
- NOT true of eppendorf systems!
- BioRad system is fantastic
- Show what happens to each well for a given gradient setting *while* the protocol is being edited
- Not true of white eppendorf Mastercycler gradient
- ability to recall past thermocycling programs used
- occasionally useful for troubleshooting failed reactions
- Optional mode that shows how long until a protocol is compete
- Marina's BioRad system's screen goes black with big light up numbers indicating how long until it is complete. It can be seen from several benches away. (This machine is no longer here.)