defining a kitchen-ready DNA transofmration protocol

On April 25th, on Jennifer Willet’s BioArt course I’ll be holding one of the classes, where we’ll perform the pGLO experiment based on the corresponding BIO-RAD kit. We also came up with the idea of trying to perform the same DNA transformation but instead of using lab-grade materials, we’d only utilize commercially available off-the-shelf tools.

Looking at the pGLO transformation manual (download the complete manual and the quick-guide from here, need to register first, which is free), we need to find kitchen-grade equivalents for the following tools, that are not included in the BIO-RAD kit:

  • a way to create a precisely 42 °C water bath
  • a way to create a 37 °C incubator (but this is actually not that important)
  • micro-wave oven – well, this is easy

The following are included in the kit, but it would be nice if we could come up with a protocol that do not need these materials, but can be replaced with commercially available stuff:

  • sterile pipets, with a resolution of 100μl and 250μl
  • sterile innoculation loops
  • sterile small test tubes
  • sterile plates
  • sterile water or sterile solution of CaCl2

My gut feeling is that the above list is available in a regular pharmacy, one way or another. What seems to be really hard to get are:

  • pGLO DNA plasmid
  • competent E.Coli bacteria
  • LB nutrient agar

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