Team:Gaston Day School/UVlightbox


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The Idea

Throughout the time of man there have been those that have encountered problems - and there have been others that have solved problems. It may be luck. It may be manifest destiny. It may be karma. Who really knows? But the Gaston Day iGEM team consists of both of these types of people, and even people who fall into both categories.

After days of futile struggle with Ethidium Bromide gels and a light box but no lights that emitted the correct wavelength to illuminate our DNA bands, the group decided to go "Macgyver" with things that we could find around our lab, a trip to one member's house, and a visit to Home Depot. Our efforts culminated in our very own UV Light Box that could not only show us the bands on our Ethidium Bromide gels but also protect our eyes from the UV Rays. Below you can find exactly how we did this.

The Items Used

A single Art Light Box, 11 3/4" light socket
A solitary UV Light, 8" in length
A lone used old bulb
A mere Soldering Iron
A simple Pocket Knife (employed both as a screw driver and as a wire stripper)
Some tape

The Creation

UV Light Boxes are a necessity to view Ethidium Bromide gels; however, because we lacked the proper funds to purchase a professionally-made one, we decided to create our own with the lab supplies we managed to rummage up.

Our journey began as we took an end off of the use light bulb that we obtained from the art department along with the light box. We took this end and soldered it on as an extension to the 8" bulb of the correct wavelength. After extending the light in this manner, it fit perfectly into our Art Light Box.

We then removed the white opaque plastic screen that came with the Light Box and replaced it with a clear plexiglass screen that we hand-cut from a larger piece of plexiglass. This new cover not only allows us to see the bands on our Ethidium Bromide gels but also prevents the UV rays from permeating through it and affecting our eyes.

The Pictures

Our team! Our team! Our team! Our team!

The Results

With our new UV Light Box we have been able to clearly identify bands on our Ethidium Bromide gels.