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Archive for February, 2013

MOVA Solar Powered Spinning Globes

We’ve been waiting for these to come in, and now they are here. We are talking about the MOVA Solar Powered Spinning Globes!


These globes sit on their base and with just a little bit of light will spin. If you pick up the globe it will still spin! Put it on the table and it continues to spin! There is no cord, no batteries, and really odd is no obvious solar cells.

The secret is that the the globe is actually immersed in a liquid that in turn is inside a clear acrylic globe. There are solar panels located behind the printed image of the globe. Since the globe only needs a little bit of light to runt he drive mechanism this works out fine. Let;s take a look at a video of the globe in action:

The MOVA globes are a great desktop toy. and don’t just come as a globe. We also have ones that are the surface of the Moon


And also one that is the Planet Jupiter



There are more of these MOVA globes available and we will be adding more very soon. Keep an eye out on this blog for more Solar Spinning Globes.

Want to buy a solar spinning Earth? Moon? Jupiter?


Tangle Proteins Building Set

Since we like supplying schools and laboratories with important equipment, we regularly carry molecular model kits that are used to build models of various complex chemical compounds. These kits area a necessity for any biochemist or organic chemist.

Trouble is, these kits have a bit of a scaling problem. They are fine for molecules, but what if you wanted to build a model of something a bit larger. Quite a bit larger, actually. Mind you we are still talking about stuff that is microscope in scale, but by comparison are huge compared to the molecules built with the model kits.

We are talking about proteins.

Now, in theory, one could build a a protein out of models kits. This is not very practical, however, and would take multiple kits and would probably fill up a large sized room just make one protein. This is why there have been some attempts at making protein model kits but they haven’t been very impressive .

Enter a couple of new people thinking on the subject, one of Dr. Marcel Jaspars, professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Aberdeen,, the other person is Richard X Zawitz, whose company Tangled Creations has been making twisty bendy toys for ages.

As the story goes, Dr. Jaspars wife gave him a Tangled Toy as a gift and the good Professor realized it could be used to make models of proteins. Its twisty, curved pieces were perfect for modeling proteins. Somehow the professor and Mr. Zawitz got together and collaborated on making the Tangle Proteins Building Set.


With this building set, students and kids can use the Tangle pieces to build actual models of various proteins. The included booklet talks about what proteins are and some details on protein modeling, along with instructions on how to model 3 different proteins:

  • Streptococcal Protein G
  • Ubiquitin
  • ω – Conotoxin MVIII

Tips for building other proteins are given:


The kit includes 75 blue pieces, 75 red pieces, 75 white pieces, 25 green pieces, 300 normal hydrogen bonds, and 50 long hydrogen bonds.

This kit is an excellent, accurate and affordable protein building set that is a must for many biochem classes as well as for kids interested in biology or in need of a science project.

Want to buy the Tangle Protein Building Set?

Want to buy Molecular & Atomic Modeling Kits?


New Agarose

We’ve been selling BenchMark’s Agarose LE ever since they announced it. Agarose is a very Multi-Purpose, High purity growth medium used in laboratories for growing bacteria cultures and other special growths.

But now BenchMark Scientific has released 3 new Agaroses as part of their expanding molecular biology line. These have the purity of the Agarose LE, but have other features various laboratories may find useful.

First up is the Agarose LM, or Low-Melt. This is an Agarose designed to remain liquid at just 37 degrees Celsius and gels from 26-30 C. Most other Agaroses need gel at 33 or more degrees C. This allow procedures such as restriction digests and labeling to be carried out in the gel.


The 2nd new Agarose is the Agarose HR, this Agarose is excellent for dealing with very small fragments. Agarose HR is for applications such as analysis of STR’s, AFLP’s, and PCR products where separation of small fragments is required, Benchmark’s Agarose HR is ideal. Clear resolution of 20bp to 800bp fragments can be carried out in this intermediate melting agarose.

Finally, the 3rd new Agarose is the Agarose 3:1, this blended high resolution agarose is designed for separation of fragments less than 1,000bp. Gels made with Agarose 3:1 are suitable for analytical and blotting applications.

All BenchMark Agarose is manufactured under a “green” process that eliminates the use of organic solvents. They provide gels with enhanced resolution and clarity, low EEO and low backgrounds. All the agarose is tested to be RNase, DNase, Protease and Endonuclease free.

These new agaroses have free shipping within the Continental USA.

Want to buy Agarose, Agar, and other biological mediums?


New MetalWorks Part 2

OK, so we got the MetalWorks  3D LaserCut Metal Models F-22 Raptor, The Tiger Tank, The Golden Hind, The Tin Lizzie and the Brooklyn Bridge in our last blog entry.  But these were not all the new MetalWorks models we added. There’s actually a few more! Let’s take a look:

First up is the Pirate Ship Black Pearl from the Pirates of the Carribean movie:


From the world of Modern Drone Aviation there is the RQ170 Sentinel Drone


For more classic aviation, there is the Japanese Zero Fighter Plane


And also this incredibly detailed Steam Locomotive


A classic detailed Ferris Wheel


And countering the Zero Fighter Plane above is an excellent model of a F4U Corsair Fighter-Bomber


All these models come on 1 or 2 sheets of flat metal and range in size from 3″ to 5″ on their long side. The models are incredibly detailed and take 30-60 minute to assemble. Great for ages 12+.

Want to buy more Building/Construction Toys?


New MetalWorks Models

The folks who make MetalWorks (formerly Metal Marvels) have been busy adding new products to their line. They particularly been adding a lot of new ‘2 sheeters’ – Metal models that use two sheets to build larger and more detailed models. As always, these metal models have an incredible amount of detail and can usually be assembled in 30-45 minutes. These are the models we have added recently:

MetalWorks Tiger I Tank


The fearsome and infamous German Tank is first up. It is about 5″ long and even has a camo pattern on the tank’s ‘skin’.

Next up is the famous Ford Model T 1908 ‘Tin Lizzie’


The Tin Lizzie is another 2 sheeter and measures about 5″ long with incredible detail – including the Ford Logo and pattern on the seat fabric.

For modern warfare enthusiasts there is the USA F-22 Raptor Fighter


Enjoy building this 2-sheet Fighter Jet!

For those who enjoy the engineering models in this series we have a model of one of the oldest suspension bridges in the USA – The Brooklyn Bridge


So, wanna buy a bridge?

And we also have the incredibly detailed Golden Hind, a model of the ship Sir Francis Drake used to circumnavigate the world:


Rigging, flags, and other incredible details are visible in this 2 sheet model.

More MetalWorks Models to come tomorrow! See you then!

Want more building/construction toys?





Fun, Fun, Fun in the (classroom) sun, sun sun!

Its the cold, hard winter roaring outside right now, but that is little reason to not consider the study of our nearest star. We have a whole set of equipment for classroom or home-study that shows how our sun changes position through the year and how powerful its rays are. Let’s start with a couple of devices that demonstrate the latter.

First up is the Solar Furnace:


The Solar Furnace is a 12″ diameter mirrored parabolic dish. A copper bracket is attached to it where various materials can be attached (paper, wood,  small bits of meat). When properly aligned with the sun the intense concentration of heat is enough to burn or even melt certain materials. The power of 12″ diameter of sunlight (113 square inches) being concentrated to a small point demonstrates how powerful sunlight can be and how that energy can be harnessed. A teacher’s guide with 6 experiments is included and is for grades 3+.

Continuing on the same vein is the more down-to-earth Sun Spot Solar Oven.


The Sun Spot Solar Oven does not use a parabolic dish but instead employs mirrored surfaces aimed towards a central area of the oven that can produce temperatures of 350 degrees! This is hot enough to do some actual cooking! In fact some classes have done actual solar cook-offs. Includes a teacher’s manual.

OK, so the sun is powerful, especially when you concentrate its rays. But depending on the time of year your solar furnace and oven may work better than other times. Why is that? Well the sun’s position changes throughout the year. This makes for a great curriculum project that can be aided with the Suntracker


With this fascinating sky dome, students can plot the position of the sun for any given time and date. An effective tool for illustrating Earth/Sun relationships. Learn about how the sun changes height and position as the seasons change. This in turn lets students learn about why the seasons change!

Want to see more Earth & Sun Science Products?


BenchMark myBlock Digital Dry Baths

BenchMark Scientific has been in the market with digital dry baths for a while with their excellent, if unnamed, Digital Dry Baths.


This series was excellent and affordable, but that didn’t mean it could not be improved upon. So BenchMark has come up with the myBlock Digital Dry Baths.


The myBlock comes in single chamber or double chamber (shown). The base version comes with no blocks so you can purchase optional bath blocks, but there are versions where you can buy them with the excellent QuickFlip Universal Block (more on that below) in single chamber or double chamber (Which comes with 2 blocks).

The myBlock has several improvements over the original Digital Dry Bath: It has a removable hinged lid for better uniformity and minimize temperature stratification in the block by maintaining a warm air jacket layer. It also helps to reduce energy consumption by minimizing heat loss to the environment.. They are the first digital dry baths to include advanced microprocessor controls, timed or continuous operation. It has an optional external temperature probe. They also can employ the previously mentioned QUickFlip Block:


This universal block can hold a wide variety of containers: 0.5ml tubes, 1.5ml tubes, 2.0 ml tubes, 0.2ml tubes, 0.2ml strips and PCR plates.  This gives the Quickflip a much greater versatility over traditional bath blocks.

BenchMark once again demonstrates their ability to innovate lab equipment and bring it to us at an affordable price:

Want to buy Laboratory Dry or Water Baths

Spectrum Scientifics