Each individual laboratory has its own electrophoresis equipment. Extreme caution should be taken when electrophoresis activities occur in the Cold Rooms.  The Cold Room floors are metal and electrophoresis could be hazardous if safety procedures are not followed carefully.

Electrophoresis Safety Notes

  1. Be aware of the lethal potential of electrophoresis.
  2. Always keep the work area dry and clean.
  3. Never touch any part of the electrophoresis cell or the leads while the power is on.
  4. Inspect leads and other connections for any defect before using the equipment.

Scintillation Counters

Location:   PSB, 2nd floor Utilidor
Contact Person for Problems or Questions:  Phil Bates, PSB 243, 5-0553

  1. Logbook: Sign the logbook with the following information:
    Date, Time, Your name, lab group and your room number (Full name please). Isotope being counted (or channel number), Number of vials to be counted and counting time, Number of cycles.
  2. Counting Time Limits: Counting times are limited to 2 minutes per vial and once cycle during normal business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.  The exception includes the following:A.) These limits do not apply if your TOTAL counting time is less than 30 minutes. (If you need to count more than one cycle, but will exceed 30 minutes, run one cycle at a time and check after each cycle that no one is waiting to use the machine.)
    B.) A cycle taking longer than 30 minutes to complete should be run overnight or broken down into smaller sets of vials that will take 30 minutes or less to run.
  3. Disposal of Vials After Counting: Remove vials from the instrument when finished and return them to your lab for disposal.  Vials left in the machine for more than 1 day will be considered abandoned, and user will be contacted and asked to discard them.  Exceptions to this rule would be those users who plan to recount samples or must let vials sit in the machine because of chemiluminescence.  If this is the case, please leave a note to this effect on the machine. Vials should be disposed of in your lab’s appropriate radioactive vial waste box.
  4. Interruptions: If you interrupt an ongoing counting measurement, be sure that you return the counting mode to its original setting.  No interruptions after 6 p.m.
  5. If you contaminate the instrument, let Phil know immediately.


Location:  PSB, Room 235A and 335A
Contact Person for Problems or QuestionsRon Nugen, PSB B7, 5-2333

  1. The ultracentrifuges and rotors are to be reserved for use. A sign-up sheet for the rotors is located near the rotor storage area. Each ultracentrifuge has a calendar on which the researcher should block out the appropriate day and time.  The researcher should list his/her name and that of the senior P.I. on the calendar as well as on the rotor reservation sheet listing all of the functional rotors in the department.
  2. Before the run, balance all tubes within 0.05 g or less. An out-of-balance rotor increases the wear of the drive unit.
  3. When using the ultracentrifuge, please list in the logbook your name/lab affiliation, the rotor type, the speed, the length of the run, the contents of the samples being centrifuged, and the type of preparation if the material is radioactive. Also, record any spills or tube leaks during the ultracentrifuge run as this information will help in assessing any problems of the equipment, especially those involving poor vacuum.  Record the final odometer reading at the end of the run.
  4. Clean up any spills/leaks in the ultracentrifuge chamber and rotor when they occur.
  5. Report any problems with the ultracentrifuges or rotors to Ron Nugen (PSB B7).

Rotors are located in Room 235A and 335A.  Departmental inventory of rotors includes fixed-angle rotors Ti42.1, Ti45, Ti50, Ti70, Ti70.1, Ti80, and Ti90; vertical rotors VTi50, VTi65, VTi65.2, and NVT65.2 (2); and, swinging bucket rotors SW28, SW41. Ti and SW60.

Avoid placing the rotors on bare surfaces.  Store them on paper towels or a lab soaker in order to minimize scratching of the overspeed disc located on the bottom of the rotor.

Spare rubber O-rings and overspeed discs for the above-listed rotors are kept by Ron Nugen in PSB B7.

Other expendable items, particularly for the vertical rotors, will be supplied by the individual laboratories.  In addition to tubes, individual laboratories are responsible for heat sealer, plug wrench, seal former for quick seal tubes, rotor plugs, and tube spacers.  Although these items (other than tubes) are in supply, the department will not replace these items when lost or when they become defective during normal use.  For help with maintenance of the ultracentrifuge, see Ron Nugen in PSB B7.

Ultracentrifuge Safety Notes

  1. Never run a rotor above its rated speed.
  2. Never run a rotor in a centrifuge that is not designed for that model of rotor.