It’s amazing what a little tape can do. Holding down the lid maintains the connection between the metal strips and the electrodes on the second set of gels. This is one place I actually want bubbles…without them, there’s no current flowing and the PCR products don’t move. This fix is definitely not in the manual.
I have reached a milestone in my research. It’s not that I have run 232 polyacrylamide gels since January. It isn’t the fact that I have handled 2,000 PCR samples over the last 4 months. And it’s not the fact that a preliminary analysis on a tiny fraction of the dataset is complete. No, the milestone is that I can finally see the end of the long list of stuff I have to do to complete this project. My list of “viable” microsatellites has been pruned down to 7 promising candidates, and I have most of 3 already amplified. I know what I have to re-do and have crammed my schedule into a 25 hour day (not a typo) to accomodate 12.5-hour gel runs and multiple PCR reactions. We will see how long this lasts, but at least I have a plan and it’s almost workable (I am aware there are only 24 hours in a day) . Now, I’m not, by any stretch of the imagination, saying that the end is near…but at least it is visible.