How to increase the overall success rate of experiments
Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:44 AM
A strange question perhaps, and I know it's normal a lot of experiments just don't work, but as mine seems to be lower than usual (there's always something ), I'd like to hear your ideas and thoughts.
Posted 01 March 2013 - 12:50 PM
Posted 01 March 2013 - 12:51 PM
Consequent thinking what has gone wrong if the experiment failed in order to tweak the causal settings and not just arbitrarily trying out new approaches.
One must presume that long and short arguments contribute to the same end. - Epicurus
...except casandra's that belong to the funniest, most interesting and imaginative (or over-imaginative?) ones, I suppose.
Posted 01 March 2013 - 12:53 PM
It is also important to understand what each step entails and what ever chemical does.
Posted 01 March 2013 - 01:58 PM
what i learnt is, follow the principle rather than blindly following the protocol...unless an experiment got used in my hands, i always use to have a positive control along, to check whether the technique by itself worked or not..
dnt repeat the experiment unless you spot the possible error in the previous experiment, i believe the failed experiment definitely needed a change in its protocol or the way of doing.
Then organization, which i think is one of the major factor behind the success rate, i always try to find where all i could put a break or possible to extend overnight in any technique, so that i wnt rush any steps to finish on the same day...
I always had an alternate hypothesis....
Posted 01 March 2013 - 02:30 PM
I would record down my steps (especially in tedious long protocols such as western blot) so I can trace back to identify where it went wrong or needs optimisation.
I also find that the smallest things make a big difference sometimes, e.g. buffer pH, salt concentrations, supplement calculations, temperature, and cell culture technique. These might or might not have direct relationship with your experiment but could influence the final outcome.
It's also important to plan the experiment with your boss or seniors before you get into it. The last thing you want is to start a badly planned experiment that leads to nowhere.
Posted 01 March 2013 - 03:28 PM
There is a learning curve to this, and it is a steep one. It's sometimes too pricy to learn by trial and error, but your perseverance will one day translate to good science.
i dont usually believe in god, but if you are up there, please save me superman! --homer simpson
Posted 04 March 2013 - 01:42 AM
* Keep a clean bench. No old stuff. When you finish with a reagent or tool, put it away immediately.
* Use physical location of samples to track the progress of adding reagents, e.g. -- move the tube down or left when you are done with it for this step.
* Use pipet tips from the box in order and related to what you are doing, so you can know whether you are on this sample or the next.
* Count. Always count. Know where you are.
* Do not let others interrupt you. This almost invariably causes errors.
* Use master mixes to reduce the amount of pipetting and increase consistency
* Think about what you are doing at each step, and why you are doing it. This only works if you really understand the protocol.