Posts Tagged ‘OpenPCR’

OpenPCR at DIYBIOMCR

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

DIYBIOMCR February was a team building workshop, putting together an OpenPCR. We had about 20 attendees from various backgrounds (even one from Birmingham!) interested in DIYBio. Here is Dan Hett’s summary of what happened.

Last week’s DIYBio was a special event, to get stuck into building a couple of PCR machines. In addition to our home-made one, we also got our hands on what we think is the first OpenPCR machine in the UK.

Getting a bit ahead of myself though. What is PCR?

PCR is a relatively simple and inexpensive tool that you can use to focus in on a segment of DNA and copy it billions of times over. So, even with a small DNA sample, such as from spitting in a tube, or tearing off a piece of a leaf of lettuce, PCR allows to you make a bunch of copies of the DNA so you have enough to analyze. PCR is used every day to diagnose diseases, identify bacteria and viruses, match criminals to crime scenes, and in many other ways.

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DIYBIO OpenPCR Build Workshop

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Bio Hacking in Manchester

Title: DIYBIO Open PCR
Location: MadLab
Start Time: 19:00
Date: 2012-02-29
End Time: 21:00
Booking: Free, but limited.

Could there be any better way to celebrate the extra day in February than by helping build the Madlab biology lab? Fresh from the states, we’ve got an OpenPCR kit and will be printing off some parts for a Gel Electrophoresis box too.

What is PCR?

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a scientific technique in molecular biology to amplify a single or a few copies of a piece of DNA across several orders of magnitude, generating thousands to millions of copies of a particular DNA sequence.
This bit of lab kit is used for amongst other things :

  • DNA cloning
  • Gene analysis
  • Diagnosing hereditary disease
  • Identifying genetic fingerprints  (CSI anyone?)

What is OpenPCR?

The OpenPCR is a low-cost, open source Personal PCR machine used in labs around the world.
This little laser cut machine will allow us to do DNA Sequencing (‘do I have the atheltic gene??’) and DNA Barcoding (‘is that sushi really tuna??’).

OpenPCR laser cut boards

We’ve had a stab at creating our own version with bits of parts from an old computer and an Arduino (Thanks Alex!).
DIYBio 19/10/11

Now we’ll attempt the flatpack version, and see how they compare.

We’ll also have  quick update on the past month in DIYbio (We were on the radio! On the BBC File on 4 programme about Bio Security first broadcast 7th Feb) and check out the progress of our soil-based microbial fuel cells, which are getting to a point where we can actually use them to power stuff). Heated discussions to follow and continue on at Common!

Hope to see you there.