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AAARGH! My mini-fridge was set to -4c. It froze the cells and ruined them. I'll re-order when I get my next "allowance" from my wife.
Got my new bugs and some Petri dishes. I'll order the stuff to mix a transformation buffer next pay-day and then I'm off to the races. I dug out some robotics parts I had tucked away for building a shaker/incubator. Hopefully it'll be built when I try the transformation but it won't be a show-stopper if it isn't.
OK it's official: The hardest supplies for DIY bio to get is 98% Ethyl Alcohol for minipreps and DI water! Made good progress on the incubator/shaker this weekend though.
I did my very first lab work at the bench this weekend by subculturing and plating my strains. I posted a video of it on YouTube and sent the link to my on-line colleages in the hopes that they'd critique my methods before I got any bad habits.
It's nerve-racking to expose my mistakes like this, but its the only way I can think of to get help and improve as a hobbiest.