Electrophoresis: Collective Building Hackathon

What's it about?

The Brmlab Biolab would like to offer you an opportunity to try out one of the most basic methods for working with DNA - the gel electrophoresis. It is one of the most widely used techniques in molecular biology, finding its use in everything ranging from forensic genetics and identification using DNA to genetic engineering and making mice glow in the dark. It's simple, easy to do, and safe. So let's try to get it to work at Brmlab!

Is this something for me?

All you need is curiosity and will to learn something new. No experience or knowledge of molecular biology is required! Everyone is welcome. chido, a biology student and part-time employee at the Institute of Molecular Genetics, will take you through the basics needed to understand how the technique works. The Biolab team will then assist you during all the steps needed for getting it to work, teaching you everything from how to make agarose gel to operating an automatic pipette. It's easy, everyone can do it!

Awesome! How can I take part?

The hackathon will take place on Saturday, 28. 9. starting 14:00 - If you intend to participate, please register here:

The hackathon is of course open to the public and the entry is free, donations for the material are welcome but not required.

Where's the catch?

The Biolab currently has most of the equipment and chemicals needed. What we don't have and would need to build during the hackathon is a suitable power supply.

Therefore, this is not a demo of a perfectly functioning device, but a hackathon to put together final pieces and make it work while explaining the hows and whys. Our current plan is that part of the people will set up and test the electrophoresis with a stock laboratory power supply, while others will attempt to build a dedicated power supply with optimal parameters meanwhile.

What we have:

  • Gel chamber
  • Agarose powder (checked; it's not high quality but should suffice)
  • DNA - for demonstration purposes, we will use a linear fragment of known length and a plasmid (circular DNA) - don't worry if you don't know what these are. we'll explain
  • UV light source (alternatively blue LEDs should be sufficient, let's try it out!)
  • other auxiliary lab equipment: gloves, beakers…
  • TAE buffer in a sufficient quantity (Kyknos and Bluebear) - we have NaOH, EDTA, TRIS, acetic acid and distilled water - TAE tested succesfully with 60V power supply and diy loading dye (sucrose+cresol red)

What we need:

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