labrat, on 29 January 2005 - 09:21 PM, said:
We reuse our polyacrylamide gels several times. I typically use mine 2-3 times a day, and make new every week. We put EtBr in the running buffer, take pix, and run the gel an hour or so before loading the next run. We use TBE, but I think I'll try bob's suggestion this week.
Buying the pre-cast glass for sequencing gels can get expensive. Go to the local window glass shop and take one of the cracked originals with you. Ask to have them cut a replacement, which cost us about $15/plate. They can cut the ears, too; tell them to drill a pilot hole in each corner before making the cuts to avoid breaking the glass.
Rain-Ex (car window water repellant) is the same as Gel-Repel, and can be purchased much more cheaply. If you don't need to transfer the gels, then you can skip treating the glass.
A fish tank thermometer strip is an alternative to gel strips.
Use isopropyl alcohol instead of ethanol to precipitate DNA. You only need to add 2/3 isopropanol to the aqueous layer and put in the freezer for an hour before centrifugation. This means you can do extractions in 1.5 ml tube, so you only use 3 tubes to do a single CTAB-chloroform extraction. (CTAB/boil, chloroform, aqueous solution/precipitation and storage)