If you would like to find all the resources needed to enter confident in the molecular biology lab, here you will find basic intro into this world.
If you are a scientist or an educator in a biology programme, and you would like to suggest your students a resource to get a feeling of basic molecular biology techniques, THIS IS THE RIGHT PLACE. Moreover, you are welcome to submit your protocol, advice, best practice or lab video to help others in building a comprehensive resource.
A very important feature of this blog is that it is structured as a on-line book. It is combining the flexibility of a blog and the riches given by web2.0 and multimedia tools, with the well know structured frame of a book. From this point of view, this stucture gives the best of both worlds. Information is well structured and rich, links and embeded videos are providing the reader context and real world simulation. More details aboutthe blog as a next generation book: here.
I started to build this resource due to the following reson. Every semester we have at least five students coming into our lab to get involved in molecular biology techniques. Until now, those who started their training with me, all had to go through the same basic steps. I will follow this method and we will write comprehensive protocols and make videos about these steps.
The basic route in starting to work in our molecular biology lab was the following:
I. INTRODUCTORY PART
- Safety rules and regulations in the lab.
- The laboratory notebook.
- How to deal with the garbage, trash and other materials produced during the experiments.
- How many types of water do we use?
- Sizes in Biology
- Basic instruments in a molecular biology lab.
- How to build a microscope from a mobile phone (see on Wired Science)
- Liquid handling with pipettes.
II. BASICS IN THE MOLECULAR BIOLOGY LAB
- How can we protect our sample from degradation? If our sample is: DNA, DNA or Protein
- DNA purification methods.
- RNA purification methods.
- Quality control (QC) of DNA and RNA – NanoDrop
III. BASIC TECHNIQUES TO GET USED TO LABWORK IN THE MOLECULAR BIOLOGY LAB
1. Working with plasmids:
- Growing of bacterial culture
- Plasmid purification
- Restriction analysis (Restriction Enzymes)
- Gel electrophoresis
2. Working in the cell culture lab:
- Cell culturing basics
- What is “sterile” in the issue culture environment?
- Adherent and floating cells.
- Performing a cell passage.
- Cell counting.
- Our methods used for transfection
- Sample preparation
IV. ADVANCED TECHNIQUES IN THE MOLECULAR BIOLOGY LAB
We will elaborate this section later. We plan to include Western Blot, Protein purification, Mobility Shift studies, Chromatin studies. etc.
- iGEM intro
- Idea Generation and Brainstorming
- About COMMITMENT
- Gene Design in 10 minutes
- Synthetc Biology for Health: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation call for proposals.
VI. OTHER STUFF
b. Interesting stuff