The famous line “If I only knew then what I know now” can mean a measure of savings down the road when it comes to your instruments. In our busy lives there is a simple but forgotten cost-saving step, if you’re willing to do some regular maintenance. It may even end up saving you thousands in laser replacement costs or machine down time.
Your machine is manufactured with many interdependent parts that allow it to function properly. The laser is one of the sequencer’s most critical parts enabling you to complete runs, and the air filter could be the key to extending the life of the laser.
The ABI 3130 and 3730 models have an air filter that helps remove contaminants before they reach the laser. Between the routine laser maintenance and realignments performed, you can do one simple thing to help your machine: clean the air filter regularly. All you need is a $3 can of air from your local hardware store and the ability to follow these three simple steps.
A SeqGen customer recently contacted us saying that they had noticed a green/blue background during sample runs and water plate runs. They had done a good job of trying to troubleshoot the issue themselves. After many failed attempts and lost time on their project, they threw in the towel and contacted SeqGen for a solution. We thought these troubleshooting efforts would be helpful if ever you experience the same issue.
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.
There’s been a lot going on here at SeqGen recently. In addition to introducing our Next-Gen Sequencing Division, we’ve also been working on some internal processes to increase the efficiency of our service. And last month, all of our hard work was recognized when we received our International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2015 certification.
We all know that the reagents for your sequencers and qPCR machines aren’t cheap, so of course everyone is looking for any and every way to save on these supplies. With a bottle of polymer costing a few hundred dollars, you learn quickly that it is not to be wasted. Luckily, some very bright people work with these machines every day and they’ve come up with some ingenious ways to get the most out of your polymer.