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 Looking for tech 
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Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:19 pm
Posts: 4
Post Looking for tech
Hello, I'm new here. Anyway, I'm looking into garage biology, and I was wondering if anyone had any idea where I might get some of the actual tech necessary to do some of it (along with any place I might be able to order samples and such). Thanks for the help!

EDIT: Also, random facts about me: I'm a male biomajor in college, though the bio classes I've had haven't really been about the area I'm interested in (namely, genetics) much.


Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:47 pm
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 1:34 pm
Posts: 21
Post Re: Looking for tech
Second-hand genetics equipment (sequencers, synthesizers, etc) can be acquired through eBay. Also there are several Corporations offering services in that area. For example illumina with their ridiciously fast Solexa sequencing-technology offers a sequencing service, so you don't have to pay a myriad of dollars for a solexa sequencer...

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Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:50 am
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Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:02 am
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Location: New York
Post Re: Looking for tech
Simple lab equipments can be made/substituted. More complex ones can be found second hand at good prices. Shop around on ebay/local colleges/biocompanies.

The real problem is getting your hands on the reagents and other single use scientific supplies... Maybe there should be a comprehensive guide on material acquisitions at some point.


Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:14 am
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Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:51 pm
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Post Re: Looking for tech
I don't think one actually needs too much fancy equipment to do garage biology. You can actually do PCR with only correct temperature water baths without a proper PCR thermocycler. It would be a bit more laborous though.

You could even do sequencing with PCR and agarose gel electrophoresis with the Sanger sequencing method (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanger_sequencing just in case you aren't familiar with it).

As I see it the only real restriction for garage biotech is the availability of the reagents.


Sat Apr 04, 2009 8:11 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:39 pm
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Location: Hungary
Post Re: Looking for tech
There must be some way to get the reagents... I dont understand why they dont sell it to individuals in the first place. Probably because that they concern if someone wants to make bio weapons. But honestly: If someone really wanted to make one he probably would not order it on the internet with name/adress etc. like i.e. us, because it can be tracked back...:P

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Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:13 pm
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:19 am
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Location: Sweden
Post Re: Looking for tech
The Hun wrote:
There must be some way to get the reagents... I dont understand why they dont sell it to individuals in the first place. Probably because that they concern if someone wants to make bio weapons. But honestly: If someone really wanted to make one he probably would not order it on the internet with name/adress etc. like i.e. us, because it can be tracked back...:P

I think it's probably because there isn't a regulation in place for selling to individuals yet. The market is so small they don't have a reason to bother to figure out how to deal with it. It's easier to just not sell.

A bit like if gasoline or hand alcohol wasn't normally used by private individuals.

-Splicer

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Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:07 pm
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Post Re: Looking for tech
I found this page recently they sell all kinds of stuff to individuals also except for dangerous materials: http://www.carolina.com

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Fri Oct 09, 2009 8:28 am
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:19 am
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Location: Sweden
Post Re: Looking for tech
It looks like there are two kinds of companies where one is more geared towards researchers and the other more towards educational institutions. The Carolina Biological Supply shop seems to be geared primarily towards schools.

I've browsed the Promega site(a researcher kind of shop) from time to time, to see if there is chemistry there I could imagine doing something with. But I haven't found anything that looks fun. I can't think of an experiment using their chemistry that would be interesting to me.

I keep returning to the BioBricks. They are what's interesting right now. In the form of the MIT parts binder or some other selection with tested parts and patent issues solved. Someone on DIYBio once proposed a Bio-Heathkit: A limited set of parts and a description of projects to do with them.

The Binders/Bioheathkits seem perfect for companies selling educational biochemistry like carolina.com. I have a feeling Ginkgo BioWorks(and others) understands this.

Except for patent/legal issues I don't know if there are reasons not to sell the Bricks(with the assembly kit) to the public. Maybe the market isn't perceived to be big enough.

It seems to me the safety measures needed to use the bricks are comparable to those used with the pGLO – E.coli experiment.

The manufacture of some bricks(like the arsenic sensor) maybe require a higher safety level. So I can kind of understand why IGEM insist on their safety regimen. But playing with the parts seems safe enough for anyone smart enough not to smoke while pumping gas.

Am I missing something?

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Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:38 pm
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Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:51 pm
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Post Re: Looking for tech
The Hun wrote:
I found this page recently they sell all kinds of stuff to individuals also except for dangerous materials: http://www.carolina.com


Well, that sure is expensive... compare for example their EcoRI restriction enzyme (2000 units 42.50$) to NEBs (20 000 units 53.00$), and their enzymes probably are from NEB anyway...


Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:36 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:39 pm
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Post Re: Looking for tech
Yeah thats probably true. But consider that Carolina supplies small quantites for educational purposes.

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Fri Nov 20, 2009 4:04 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:19 pm
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Post Re: Looking for tech
Thanks for the help, guys. :)

*finally returns after a long absence*

Also, managed to buy me a .5-10 ul pipette! :D


Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:27 pm
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Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:34 pm
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Post Re: Looking for tech
ATG wrote:
I don't think one actually needs too much fancy equipment to do garage biology. You can actually do PCR with only correct temperature water baths without a proper PCR thermocycler. It would be a bit more laborous though.


You don't *need* a thermocycler, but the alternative is shifting vials by hand between water baths every 30-120 second for two hours. So they're nice to have. I'm sure they'd be easy for an electrician to make from scratch, though; they're basically a programmable water bath with a timer. Ditto for centrifuges, and unless you're working with yeast, a pressure cooker and a good supply of ethanol is sufficient for sterilisation.


Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:35 am
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