Hot Scientific Equipment/1

One of the things you don’t know about me is that I’m a gadget geek. Back when I started dating my husband I bought a new stereo system.  While I was connecting this part to that part, he was making a lunch… and things haven’t changed much since then in this department. My favorite gifts are gadgets- I’ve got a purse full (the bigA has inherited this obsession).

But- I’m not going to post about my personal gadgets here (you can all get your heads out of the gutter NOW), my gadget obsession extends to scientific equipment and power tools that I purchase for the lab. Heck, if Isis can show you pictures of shoes she adores, I can show you pictures of the lab equipment I covet. I’ve got some humble tastes- and some not so much.

We’ll do relatively humble and low tech now, and move on to robotics, HTS sequencing etc later. This little devil is my favorite purchase as an assistant professor, (as I reveal  just exactly how much of a geek I really am). I give you – the Ultra Turrax T25 grinder…

Ultra Turrax T25Now I know you are SHOCKED by my geekishness- but I just love this thing. Some labs that do what we do, smash tissue using a whirl-pak bags and a hammer… but I like my thumbs, thanks. I’m practically deaf from the old grinder we used to use, and this bad boy is so awesomely quiet that we can actually have a conversation over coffee while grinding samples for an hour or two. Well, if we weren’t working on food borne pathogens and if coffee was allowed in the lab, that is.  And nothing gets stuck up in the dispersing tool and has to be cleaned out with forceps- it all gets properly dispersed like it is supposed to.  I love it!

My students think I’m a total nutcase because I comment about how this is one of my most favorite pieces of equipment that we own…like on a daily basis.

Of course, I am a total nutcase sometimes. I’m getting a quote for big time PCR equipment right now.

17 thoughts on “Hot Scientific Equipment/1

  1. You got an axe to grind? Back to the daily grind? Grinding your teeth?

    What happened when the scientist backed in the meat grinder? She got a little behind in her work!

  2. You should use the massive publicity of your blogosphere stardom to get some thermo-cycler publicity discount. I have actually wondered about that though, whether it is inappropriate to crowd-source quotes and opinions like that on a blog.

  3. Dave-

    Meh- It would be tough for me to crowd-source quotes based on what pretty generic thing I said. I doubt that there is an issue there. 😉

    BTW- the quote they gave me sucked. And I usually worship at the altar of the company I asked for the quote from. … but they did me wrong this time.

    JC- Hahahahaha!!

  4. My absolute 100% favorite gadget as a post-doc was a teflon homogenizer, like one of these:

    The one that we had is a discontinued model that was absolutively perfecto for homogenizing brains. My post-doc mentor and I were swilling some whiskey at study section last month, and he told me that it is still in use.

  5. We’ve got an old-school grinder in our lab and the tissue gets all kind of stuck up in it. So I can understand why you get so excited about this guy. And there’s NO WAY I’d try to smash up rat tissue by hand!

  6. I am also a “gadget” nut. I unfotunately don’t have access to the new state of the art toys. I do have a small collection of old lab equipment (my Father is a retired bacteriologist). My favorite is a table top centrifuge.

  7. I’ve already gotten my big-time PCR equipment. I pickedup a shiny new Roche 480 Lightcycler RT PCR system last year. This year? We’re moving in the direction of getting an Agilent microarray system. Would like to get a Nanodrop as well.

  8. automated colony counter……aaaaaahhhh, so many extra hours of life gained. What will I do with them all?

  9. BugDoc- I dreamt about one of those last night. I need one too- which one do you like?

    Isis- You might have to get one… I’m telling you this thing is awesome.

    TJ- If you must know I want more PCR capacity- we do hundreds of PCR reactions at a time and that double 48 well block just doesn’t do me.

    LabMom- I’m going to check that out !

  10. Physioprof- OMG I used to use one of those for brains LONG, LONG ago when I was a tech. Works well for brains- but I don’t think it will work well for anything tougher with lots of connective tissue. The grinder is key.

  11. drdrA if you need more conventional PCR machinery, check out the following two companies:

    Bulldog Bio:

    We loves our Biometra thermocyclers (TProfessional Basic) which are inexpensive, durable, and have a gradient function. It sees as much use as our GeneAmp 2720 (which also is a nice, but more expensive machine with less functionality than the Biometra).

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