Saturday, 24 January 2009

PCR consumables

In order to do science we do, we have to go through large quantities of generally expensive things, many of which are good for exactly one use ever. It's not uncommon to have to pay hundred of dollars for tiny vials of snot like fluid, or for a piece of plastic with little indents on it. It's a scam, really, but we've got no choice but to pay. But we do get to decide who we pay. Because I'm the primary purchasing agent, I fish around for deals. I like to do my homework, and google for product reviews. So, all this set up to explain to my regular readers why I'm about to ramble on about little pieces of plastic - the post, sadly, isn't for you. It's for people like me, in labs, with google.

I ordered Axygen .2ml, thin wall, clear 8 strips to replace my previous no-name vendor on account of their lower price. However, having used my boxes of them for about a year now, I would not recommend buying them. While on average they work, about one in five boxes will seem to be the wrong size. I suspect it's the .2ml 8 strips, instead of the caps, because I can get the caps to fit other things. The strips will be too large, and won't allow any sort of seal. In this condition, it's common to lose most or all of the reaction to evaporation. It wastses time, when you hit these boxes, trying to find cap-tube combinations that fit eachother. I'm confident that when I factor in these odd-sized tubes, I've no longer saved money.

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