From time to time, I will give a glimpse into the “glamorous” life of a research associate and talk about what I’m doing in the lab on a particular day. These entries I will call “A Day in the Life…”
Today I’m reading up on how to do a complicated protein separation method (called 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis). I will be attempting one of these next week and want to make sure I have everything I will need to do this technique.
One of the things I will have to do for this method is to concentrate the amount of protein I have in my samples. I will use a kit that will pull the protein out of the liquid sample (by precipitation) which will allow me to put it in a smaller volume of a different liquid solution.
In all my twenty (plus!) years as a research associate, I have never seen an instruction manual for a kit tell me which way to orient the sample tubes in the centrifuge.
“Position the tube in the centrifuge with the cap hinge facing outward.”
This is one of those things that is usually left out of a protocol. Something you have to figure out on your own. Or a “trick” you learn from another lab member.
Well, that and the magic incantation you must repeat three times while hopping on one foot!