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The importance of having an autoclave?

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#1 Dr. N00b

Dr. N00b


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Posted Today, 06:04 AM

Ok, so I was looking at buying a used desktop autoclave for about 1100 USD a couple of weeks back. It had one programable function, and with some help from helpful forumites here on BioForum - I was able to conclude that I should be able to use it for liquids.


however... my car just cost me that exact amount last week, so my means of investing in an autoclave just plummeted.


So - to my question: Just how important is it to have an autoclave if I want to work with bacterial transformation and DNA analysis? This is purely a hobby. Will the lack of an autoclave make it completely impossible for me to do any experiments? I've read through a few protocols, and every single one of them mentions at some point "..autoclave at XX degrees celcius for XX amount of time...".


Recently I found out I need to get a refrigerated micro centrifuge as well. I've discovered I should be able to modify the one I have though with a peltier based cooling system. But an autoclave... I dont see myselfing making a DIY version of that just yet.


Sincerely, N00b.

#2 phage434



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Posted Today, 06:18 AM

An autoclave is very convenient, but you could substitute a pressure cooker. Also, look into some old-school processes such as Tyndallization.

I'm of the opinion that you don't really need a chilled centrifuge. Good, yes, but you can do experiments fine without one. You can chill centrifuge rotors in the freezer, for example, but for most applications, room temperature works fine. You may lose some transformation efficiency with competent cells, but so be it.

#3 pito



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Posted Today, 06:49 AM

a simple pressure cooker will do.


for the centrifuge: well I would prefer one that you can chill. However, maybe you can use it when it stands in the fridge?


You could try it at room temperature for the compentent cells and see if they still work or not.. maybe this is something interesting too to investigate.


Keep in mind that your hobby is really expensive. Restriction enzymes for example are not really cheap.


I also wonder: do they even sell them at people not affiliated with a lab? I guess you can find some online, but if you can trust them? no idea.

If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some than not ask and stay stupid.

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