Final Proof that I Am a Total Nerd

Our lab was looking at new gel imagers today. Basically, it’s a box that transmits UV light from underneath a gel. The gel separates DNA of different lengths by basically forcing it through a matrix (which is the gel) via electricity – DNA is negatively charged, so it migrates through the gel, away from the negative charge being applied to it. The DNA is then stained with a chemical that shows up under UV light. So you stick it in this box, UV light comes up from underneath the gel, illuminating your DNA, and then there is a camera at the top of the box which takes a photo and transmits it to a computer.

Of course, I was looking at the camera specs. The camera on the imager we use now has a lens that opens up to f1.4. The imager we ended up buying? Opens up to f1.0. I didn’t even know that existed. No wonder the setup is costing $7500. Science is fucking expensive.

We also bought a centrifuge today, and are thinking about a nanodrop (it measures the amount of DNA in a one microliter sample). I don’t even want to know how much they cost…