Thursday, June 19, 2008

Error1a: User does not meet manufacturer's minimum specifications.

So I put the lid on the gel chamber, plugged in the electrodes, set the current and the timer, pressed start, checked the voltage to make sure the gel was running and wandered off.

Five minutes later I come back to check that my gel is running okay. I glance at the voltage... all good.

I look, expecting to see the blue marker dye migrating down the gel. No blue line.

I turn the rig around, thinking I am looking at the buffer dam side. No blue line. Buffer dam.

I turn it back, hoping I was imagining it. No blue line.

I check the power pack to make sure the electrodes are plugged in the right way... maybe I have run my samples backwards out of the wells? Red to red, black to black, all fine.

I switch off the powerpack and check that the lid is on the right way round. Of course it is... these modern rigs are designed so you couldn't run them backwards even if you wanted to.

I am confused. I dither. Where are my samples? Where is the blue line? I've run thousands of gels (no exaggeration here) and never had the samples just disappear (except perhaps back in the days when you COULD run them backwards). This is an eerie, scary happening and it happened right here in my lab.

I glance over at my lab-bench to where my samples are sitting in the heating block. My samples are sitting in the heating block.

Now my gel is running. Blue line. All fine.

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