Ugly Gel Mystery Week #1 Solved!

Last week we showed you a picture of a very ugly gel and asked the following questions:

1. what’s so ugly about this gel
2. how’d it get this way
3. what can be done to prevent this from happening again

Here are your answers:
1. This is a 2D gel so there should be spots throughout the surface of a gel (unlike a 1D gel which has bands). The spots should be well defined and sharp. In this gel the spots are wavy and undefined. The truth is that you can’t really make out much from this gel.

2. In 2DGE, it is very important to have a straight edge on the top of the gel so that the proteins enter the gel in the correct orientation and separate properly in the second phase of electrophoresis. This gel is a hand-cast gel and was not cast properly.

3. In order to solve this problem Overlay the gel with water-saturated butanol (n-butanol, l-butanol, or t-butanol) or t-amyl alcohol immediately after gel casting. These ensure that the gel has a clean, straight top edge. Use the overlay recommended by the manufacturer of the electrophoresis cell.

Or…you could always use Bio-Rad precast gels! This ensures that you are using a perfectly cast gel every time!

Congratulations to all you electrophoresis sleuths who solved this mystery without any outside help.

If you would like your ugly gel featured on the blog where you can tap into the collective minds of our super-intelligent audience for solutions simply email a picture of your gel to avi@americanbiotechnologist.com and we will include your gel in our next blog post.

Stay tuned for our next mysterious gel to be posted soon!

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