Bio+Tech, DIY lab equipment, and PowerPoint
I had a great time at Bio+Tech at UCSF last night! The guest speaker had plenty of insights on science publishing, the Q&A discussion was what I wish all my seminar classes had been like, and I got to meet more interesting people who are fascinated with biology. It was great to chat with the DIY Biology BioCurious crew in a quieter environment than the Maker Faire, and hold the LavaAmp prototype. (A pocket-sized, portable, cheap and rapid thermal cycler for PCR… is that cool or what?)
Today I’m posting a few things people asked me about… such as a link to Ian Chin-Sang’s DIY LED-based GFP illuminator (translation: light that makes C. elegans glow), the appendix from my thesis showing my improvements to that system, and my latest PowerPoint production: selections from my thesis defense presentation.
I’m sure that with more hacking, this basic idea could be incorporated into other fluorescence illumination applications. There are now commercial LED fluorescence systems–even for epifluorescence–so this approach is technically sound.
Here’s the appendix from my thesis where I wrote up the improved version. My setup basically threw money at the problem of low signal-to-noise ratios that obscured the fluorescence from GFP-tagged cells (compared to a full-body GFP strain) by using an $800 set of GFP bandpass filters from Chroma. I’ll document this more concisely for the Worm Breeder’s Gazette one of these days.
This is the “good parts” version, since I’m sure anyone who waits to download a 15MB file and finds a lot of text-only slides, series of highly similar figures and graphs, and cut-n-pasted figures from other people’s papers (background info) will be disappointed. (Yes, I drew the cute food figures in the dietary copper slide.)
Someday, after I finish moving and writing up my research, I’ll go through my old class assignment PPTs and look for good ones. However, my presentation for Genetics Lab on how worms can teach us about aging contains some outdated scientific information (four years later, the Oxidative Stress Hypothesis of Aging seems to be losing ground, according to the buzz at the C. elegans Aging Topic Meeting).
Speaking of my beloved worms, if anyone’s curious about the Worm Breeder’s Gazette, here’s a nice blog entry about this community resource: http://toddharris.net/blog/2009/12/16/an-early-model-for-open-access-returns-say-hello-to-the-new-worm-breeders-gazette/