Book recommendation for Benchtop Protocols? - (Nov/16/2007 )
I'm a sophomore undergraduate who has recently begun working in a lab. My PI is very encouraging of my progress and has essentially given me permission to do whatever I like in my project. The problem now, it seems, is that I don't know how to do much. I know what results I need to get and generally know what technique I need to use. The problem is that I don't know many of the specific benchtop protocols. I can (and have) asked other labmates, but its hard for them to show me techniques and get their own work done at the same time. Plus, I always feel bad dragging them away from their work to show me something basic.
Is there a textbook or lab manual out there that people would recommend for basic-to-intermediate benchtop protocols? I will need basic stuff like Westerns, Co-IPs, PCRs, fractionation, etc. Ideally, it would also be nice for the manual to include more advanced/specific topics so I can browse through them. A lot of times I know what I need to find out but might lack the particular technique required. I end up inventing some complicated method to string together protocols I know. Later I find out there was an easier/simpler/cheaper method that could do the same thing.
We deal a lot with protein-protein interactions as we are trying to characterize a novel protein. Anything related to that (methods to identify, determine function, determine interactions, etc) would also be wonderful.
Is there a textbook/author that is widely used by labs? I checked Amazon but the comments/ratings were generally worthless or nonexistent.
All labs have Molecular cloning: sambrook and Russell. This is a good book for molecular biology.
Yeah, Molecular Cloning is the bible of molecular biology.
Find a copy of "At the Bench" by Kathy Barker.
The Invitrogen site has a selection of protocols available on their site. I've found these to be a good starting point.
If your library have access to Current protocols, I think it is another bible:)
does anybody in your lab, including the pi, keep a personal "methods" book? you could copy the whole book or the pertinent sections.
by the way, setting a newbie loose in the lab without any specific counseling (especially about techniques and methods) is hardly encouraging. your pi is probably trying to determine your specific frustration level.
Thanks everyone for the book suggestions. I'll also ask around for a "methods" book, I'm sure someone probably has one I can copy.
My PI has been extremely busy lately writing grants, which partially explains his lack of involvement. I don't mind, however. I really enjoy the independence and it is teaching me to think critically and work out problems on my own. His trust in letting me work independently is also highly encouraging. If he was afraid I would mess up his results I doubt he would let me work on the project alone.
The lab group (including my PI) is very open to questions about techniques or procedures if I should have them. I just wanted a protocol book so I could avoid bothering them for small details like "How much protease inhibitor do I use for this protocol?". A protocol book would allow me to ask more important questions regarding the design of the experiment and avoid little details.
Check out the protocols pages on this web site, most of them are pretty good!