Posts tagged ‘Lab Equipment’
In Biotechnology there is a process known as PCR. PCR, or Polumerase Chain Reaction is widely performed through a series of heating cycles that pull apart, duplicate, and fuse back together the two strands of a DNA double helix, PCR creates new copies of DNA that are identical to the original.
Traditional PCR requires the material be heated to about 95C, wherupon the DNA strands seperate, or ‘denature’. The sample is then cooled a bit so the strands will anneal to ‘primers’, which are short DNA strands designed to bond to specific sections of the DNA strand. The sample is heated slightly more (72C) and activates an enzyme called polymerase that attaches itself to the end of the primer. The polymerase “extends” the primer’s length based on the original DNA, thus recreating the desired sequence.
During this “extension” step, the polymerase reacts with the original copy to produce a new chain of DNA, thus the name Polymerase Chain Reaction. Since this process happens for both of the original DNA strands, the amount of DNA is doubled after one PCR cycle. Over many cycles, PCR exponentially expands the amount of DNA you were started with.
Analytic chemistry has a process known as High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) wherin a mixture is separated into its components for identification. The process is fairly complex and involves a pump as well as a solid-filled ‘column’ than the mixture is pumped through.
These columns are special equipment, with varying lengths and solids inside them.
These columns need a bit of care and cannot just be left on a shelf somewhere. Specialty storage is needed, especially if the lab in question does a lot of HPLC work.
Enter the TrippNT 108 HPLC Cabinet!
This cabinet can store 108 HPLC columns in individual compartments. The trays in the drawers are removable and adjustable. Each tray has an acrylic lid.:
And of course, we have a lovely video of the HPLC Cabinet ‘in action’.
The HPLC Column Cabinet costs well under $600 and is a must for any lab that has to do frequent HPLC work. It ships assembled so no time is wasted putting it all together.
For Labs that do only occasional HPLC work or have space imitations consider the budget HPLC Column storage cabinet.
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Centrifuging is one of the more important activities in a lab. Separating solutions and precipitates is critical for many functions in Chemistry, Biochemistry and Biology. But most centrifuges are designed to hold specially made centrifuge tubes or glass flasks & test tubes. But sometimes a small laboratory needs to centrifuge a microplate (a plate with multiple wells in a rectangular matrix) rather than in individual tubes. The question is how to centrifuge such plates? Some centrifuges have adapters for microplates but these are a bit clunky and awkward.
Benchmark now introduces the Platefuge, the first microcentrifuge with a swing-out rotor for handling microplates.
Vortex mixers are an important part of any lab that needs to mix or stir liquids thoroughly. The vortexing action (video link) assures an even blending and since you just push the tube or beaker against the Vortexer you don’t need to waste any time loading a shaker.
Now Benchmark has released a new mini Vortex mixer, one with a bit of color to it. Introducing the Benchmark Scientific Vornado
The Vornado measures less than 4″ wide and mixes with a fixed speed of 2800 rpm on a 4mm orbit. It can handle tubes up to 50ml in capacity. The overall size is under 4″ x 4″ making it perfect for crowded labs. And yes, that does mean it can literally fit in the palm of some people’s hands.
Continuing with their fine tradition of producing high quality laboratory instruments Benchmark Scientific has introduced the Incu-Mixer microplate heater and shaker , available in two sizes: 2 microplates or 4 microplates.
Equipment to shake and heat at the same time is hardly a new thing to Benchmark, but previously such equipment was on the larger size and designed for either microtubes or flasks. The Incu-Mixer is designed to mix and heat Microplates:
Mechanical adjustable Pipettors area mainstay in most labs. They are excellent for ‘dialing in’ the exact amount of liquid that your system needs. We’ve carried such pipettors before and while they are decent instruments they have lacked certain features.
Now, however we introduce the MTC Propette Pipettors:
So. homogenizers. Quite possibly the most violent of devices used in a laboratory. When you consider that the term ‘homogenize’ is a more scientific term for ‘beaten to a (literal) pulp’. This process is used for turning organic material (such as bone, wood, plants) in to a material that can be better examined.
While we joke about homogenizers beating organic materials to a pulp, keep in mind that what a homogenizer does is actually destroy the cell walls of a material. This process is called lysis. It has many uses, far too many to go into here.
Spectrum has already carried the excellent Benchmark Scientific Homogenizers the BeadBug and the BeadBlaster. These are fine devices but they have two disadvantages: one is their lack of portability, and two is that the material needs to be inserted in microtubes prefilled with mashing material (beads). Well, Benchmark has now added a new homogenizer to their product line, it is the D1000 Handheld Homongenizer:
Dry Baths are a staple of labwork, and we’ve carried a decent variety of them – mostly supplied by BenchMark Scientific. But there have been some minor issues in that you can only do one heating run at a time. Sure, you can get models that hold multiple blocks but you end up with the same problem: the blocks are all being heated to the same program and having the same things done to each block.
Sure you can solve the problem by purchasing multiple Dry Baths and have each one run a different program, but in a small lab that means more benchtop real estate taken up, more cables, and more clutter.
BenchMark has decided to relieve the problem by adding a new product to their product line, it is the IsoBlock Digital Dry Bath:
The IsoBlock has two separate heating chambers the are insulated from each other by a blocking wall:
The IsoBlock’s two chambers can each be separately programmed to different heating programs. You effectively get two Digital Dry Baths in one!
The IsoBlock does not come with a block, but is shown with the popular QuickFlip Block that covers a lot of needs. It can hold tubes from 0.5 to 2.0ml, and with a quick flip can handle 0.2 tubes or PCR strips. The IsoBlock can hold two different blocks and different machined blocks are available for everything up to 50ml tubes (note: lid might not close with larger blocks).
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