Terra Sigillata

This one’s for the molecular and cell biology and pharmaceutical chemistry crowd: what’s on your current wishlist?

If you had a US$250,000 equipment budget, what would you buy to outfit the lab?

Assume that your department has all the big ticket items like real-time PCR, confocal microscopy, flow cytometer, histology gadgetry, >500MHz NMR, MALDI-TOF, LCs, etc.

And, no, not for scientist salaries – instrumentation/capital equipment only.

I just want to know if there are any newfangled whizbang thingamabobs out there that I haven’t seen in the last year or two, perhaps along the lines of the Luminex Bead-Lyte technology.


  1. #1 RobertC
    June 6, 2008

    Do you have a advanced microplate reader? The newer ones can do kinetics in absorbance, fluorescence or fluorescence polarization modes, and also FRET/BRET type assays.


    And if your doing serious assays, I’d get a liquid handler/robot to set up the assay precisely.

  2. #2 Tegumai Bopsulai, FCD
    June 6, 2008

    A flux capacitor.

  3. #3 John Johnson
    June 6, 2008

    From the statistician: a yearly license for SAS.

  4. #4 kevin z
    June 6, 2008

    Or save your self the money and countless and learn R. Free and better!

    Buy a supercomputer.

  5. #5 Abel Pharmboy
    June 6, 2008

    Hey, Tegumai – what vendor should I use?

  6. #6 Terry
    June 6, 2008

    I have not used them myself, but if I were setting up a lab from scratch, I would consider a cuvetteless spectrophotometer.


  7. #7 such.ire
    June 6, 2008

    I would definitely go for something like a nanodrop or a fluorescent microplate reader. Very, very handy. Another cool thing is a microplate high-content fluorescent microscope, for taking fluorescent images in 96-well format. Useful for large-scale screens.

    And, of course, if you can convince your department to shell out for one of the extra-shiny next-generation sequencers or an LC-ESI-LTQ-Orbitrap from Thermo Fisher, there’s tons of stuff that can be done with those. But those tend to be a bit more than one lab can handle, generally…

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