We all love the MiSeq for the fast turnaround, remarkable data quality and its streamlined workflow. However, from time to time, our trusty machines will have an off day that can throw an elephant-sized wrench into your plans. From time to time, you may notice that you are unable to start your Miseq run because the pre-run flow check is failing.
As new technology is developed and introduced to the marketplace, you may have heard a nasty rumor that the manufacturer will no longer be offering support or maintenance on older machines like the ABI 3130/xl Genetic Analyzer, or 7900HT qPCR. You might have even gotten a notice that effectively says that you’ll have to upgrade to a newer model if you want to keep your lab operational. Sure, these machines have improved functionality and can make a lab more efficient, but the bottom line is this unnecessary upgrade is costly and just doesn’t make sense for a lot of labs.
Many of our users have found that when using water for injections instead of Hi-Di formamide, they end up with issues that prevent base calling, even when following the machine standards. Proper technique should produce signal strengths well above the minimum threshold when samples are resuspended in formamide.
However, if you are still having issues with signal strength, you can try resuspending your samples in water, since this can increase signal strength by over 10x. If you do try employing water for injections, make sure you’re cautious of these three things:
No matter what industry you’re in, budgets are tight. Costs for reagents, coverage plans, unexpected breakdowns, and plenty of other issues--the funds dry up quickly.
However, over the years we’ve picked up plenty of tips and tricks that can save your lab money and extend the life of your machine and its parts. So without further ado, here are 4 ways you can squeeze more out of your lab’s budget now.