We don't know who we are until we see what we can do.
Some Tips for Molecular Biologists
Aseptic technnique refers to laboratory practices to avoid exposing preparations to bacteria, mold, and other contaminants. We apply aseptic technique in a conventional laboratory environment when working with bacterial plates, DNA or protein preparations, etc. Materials are frequently sterilized before use, but sterile conditions are not necessarily maintained during use. The phrase "sterile technique" refers to more stringent practices to prevent the slightest contamination whatsoever. Surgeons apply sterile technique, as to researchers who culture cells and tissues.
Microcentrifuge/conical centrifuge tubes can easily be contaminated by contact with non-sterile surfaces (e.g., your fingers) or by air borne particles. Be careful when transferring solutions from one tube to another. Also, keep the lids closed when you're not working with the samples.
Media can be also contaminated by contact with non-sterile surfaces or by air borne organisms. Remove lids and coverings carefully avoiding contact with any part of the cover that may contact the media; minimize the amount of time the container is exposed to air. Lids and coverings should be held with media side down at all times. Air borne contaminants are usually falling downward. Replace the coverings carefully so that the rim of the container makes contact only with sterile surface of the inside of the cap.
The use of a flame helps maintain aseptic materials. Working near a flame can decrease air borne contamination. The flame is also used to singe surfaces to maintain sterility. The mouth of the tube or flasks is passed through the flame before and after pouring. The cap or cover is also passed through the flame prior to replacing on the container.
Caution: The flame is used to singe the surfaces only. Do not hold the items in the flame to make them hot.Glass flasks, even Pyrex, can break from the heat or when the cooler media hits the hot surface.
Notes on Molecular Biological Procedures
Pipetting Small Volumes
We would like to thank New England Biolabs for their generous support of our laboratory program
Copyright and Intended Use
Visitors: to ensure that your message is not mistaken for SPAM, please include the acronym "Bios211" in the subject line of e-mail communications
Created by David R. Caprette (email@example.com), Rice University 22 Jul 08
Authored by Beth Beason Abmayr, Ph.D., Rice University