I’m building out some experiments that DIYbio enthusiasts can do, from novice to more advanced. However, in the meantime, there is an awesome resource that I’d like to point you towards that already has some great material with great documentation for how to do basic experiments in cellular and molecular biology. There’s some bad news, though, so I might as well get that out of the way first: you’ll only get a trial period unless you are a part of a university, where your academic credentials will likely get you in.
JoVE is the Journal of Visual Experiments. It was created to help rectify a serious problem in science: the majority of experiments published in scientific journals can’t be reproduced. The thinking was simply this- reading through protocols/experiments is a poor guide. If another scientist could watch what was done, they’d see where they were going wrong in their attempts to reproduce. It could be as simple as a minor difference in technique or something not explicitly put down on paper.
While the purpose is to help with reproducibility, another use is to learn how to do an experiment in the first place. JoVE not only has some of the latest (and obscure) research, but it also covers some of the basics. Like I said- something for everyone.
Here’s a list of some of the basics in cell and molecular biology experiments. Some of these experiments will require you to have access to or to make or buy your own lab, so don’t forget to check out the page on building your own DIYbio lab.
- Gel Purification
- The Western Blog
- DNA Ligation
- An Introduction to Transfection
- Plasmid Purification
- Restricion Enzyme Digests
- Using a Hemacytometer
- Molecular Cloning
Not only are there video walk-throughs and step by step instructions, but the PDFs on the lab protocols are very clear and precise, and if there’s anything you may have picked up on from my website, it’s probably that a lot of protocols in the DIY bio arena suck, so these PDFs, even through they are supplements, are a welcome breath of fresh air.
Many of these are crucial in order to do more advanced experiments, so if you don’t already know how to do a gel purification or how to do plasmid purification, you’re going to want to check out this resource in order to get these tools in your tool belt, so to speak.