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Posted by Karen on June 5th, 2017  ⟩  0 comments

For over 30 years GoldBio has made it its mission to stand behind life science research because we believe that by promoting research and discovery, the world will change for the better.

Therefore, we are always looking to hear from you in order to better support your vision. Of course, telling us what’s important to you might not always be so easy, especially when you’re very busy, so GoldBio has created convenient places on its site to let your voice be heard. What are your needs? What are your goals? What can we do better? What are/aren’t we doing well? What ideas do you have? How has your experience with GoldBio been?

This article will very briefly take you through the possible ways you can leave feedback, share ideas and let us know what you think.



Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down Feature (Beta Mode):

On certain product pages you might see the thumbs up/thumbs down icons. If you have ordered the product from GoldBio, used it and want to share your thoughts with us, simply select the icon that best represents your experience. Your icon selection will be noted, and after you click, a set of fields will appear where you can leave more details.

Another convenient feature is that your feedback can be left anonymously, and no fields are required.



Search Results Page:

Our website’s search bar enables you to search our inventory based on product name, catalog number or CAS number. If you search and we have the item or have items related to your query, the search results page will list it out for you.

However, if your query led to no results, there is still a way to let us know what you are looking for. Your inquiry on the form shown below could prompt us to consider carrying the product of interest. 



Article Comments:

GoldBio publishes and shares articles geared toward life science research and life in the field. Like what you read? Don’t like what you read? Have suggestions on what to add to the story or want to suggest supplemental material? At the end of every article is a comment section for you to tell us more, ask questions and share your ideas.

Perhaps the article had tips for a certain process, and through your experience you have advice that might be useful to other readers. This is a great opportunity to share your knowledge, open a dialog and help inspire others.





Live Chat Feedback: 

Our live chat feature allows you to digitally connect to a GoldBio representative. This platform offers a convenient way to ask questions, request information, update us on an order – anything that is important to you. 

While the live chat is one way you can give us helpful feedback, the poll that follows it is a way to rate your overall experience during the session. It only takes seconds and is as easy to do as the picture below shows.



Social Media:

While it’s offsite, connecting with our social media channels is another way you can share thoughts, offer suggestions or keep in touch. Our primary channels include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

        
         

Have suggestions, tips or ideas for the site? Let us know. Comment below. Or get in touch via live chat, social, email, phone or one of the platforms listed above. We appreciate hearing from you because you are what drives science forward.


    
              Karen Martin
GoldBio Marketing Coordinator


"To understand the universe is to understand math." My 8th grade
math teacher's quote meant nothing to me at the time. Then came
college, and the revelation that the adults in my past were right all
along. But since math feels less tangible, I fell for biology and have
found pure happiness behind my desk at GoldBio, learning, writing


Category Code: 88261

Posted by Karen on December 22nd, 2015  ⟩  0 comments

In an effort to make our site even more user friendly, we gathered your feedback and took action. Our biggest, and most helpful changes have included lengthening the search bar, and redesigning the green navigation ribbon. 

Because navigating through a changed website, or new website (if this is your first visit) can sometimes be a challenge, we put together a quick tutorial that first highlights the recent changes to our site, and then expands by taking you through some general navigation tips.




Search Bar (the easiest way to browse our site):

Navigation hasn’t really changed that much, especially if you’re used to the search bar. It’s still in the same place and works just as well, if not better. You can still search for products on our site using its name, catalog number or CAS number.



Now, one search bar trick you might not be familiar with is searching for related items or documents. For example, if you search for IPTG, you’ll see the most relevant products populate, but if you look closely, you’ll see a new set of tabs on the page for related products, documents, videos and blogs. Click on any of those categories and pull up even more resources.

GoldBio Website Navigation - Related Content, GoldBio Videos, GoldBio Protocols, GoldBio Blogs

GoldBio Website Navigation - IPTG - Related Videos - GoldBio Search Bar





Products A-Z (New Feature for navigation ease):

This is a new feature brought about as a result of customer feedback. Either hover your arrow over this section or click directly on it. Then scroll through products in alphabetical order.




Shop By Category (An artifact of the old ways):

If you really liked our old categories on the ribbon, or want a way to search for products based on our printed catalogs, we have preserved this feature in the Shop By Category section. Like the other ribbon categories, just hover your arrow over this section and then choose which category you’d like to shop by. Each category is broken down further into sub categories and so on.




Featured Products (Shop for vital research tools in aphabetical order):

We created this category so you can quickly find some must haves for the lab. Within this category, you’ll find featured antibiotics, DNA and protein ladders, buffers and more. It becomes even more convenient when using the “Quick Order” button. Just scroll through, and add much needed products to your shopping cart.




The Last 3 Tabs (Highlighting top research products):

The last three tabs highlight some of the most important products or product lines. These tabs will not be static on our site, so be prepared to see new products show up. This is all in an effort to enhance your shopping experience.




Navigation Odds and Ends:

Rather than focus solely on what has changed on our site, it’s worth mentioning some other site features to help your GoldBio experience. We would love your feedback on this too. If you browse through this section and think something is just not quite easy to use or needs changed, let us know, and we will take it under consideration.

The first thing to discuss is the top, gray ribbon. Some of it is intuitive, but some of it might not be. Within the About Us section, you’ll find information about the company, careers and our sales team. Under Global Distributors, you will find a list of worldwide GoldBio distributors, which is useful if you do not reside in the US. The Special Offers section will always show off any promoted products or sales. But if you hover over it, sometimes you will see other offer pages revealed. Lastly, the Reference Library is an abridged section showing a small sample of where our products have been published.




Next, it’s worth taking a look at the bottom fold of the page. Beneath the scrolling banner is a place that highlights Latest Videos, Latest Articles and our Duchefa Direct site (plant research products). When it comes to the articles and videos (and I mention this tip because it wasn’t so evident for me when I first joined the team), click the orange “View More” and “View All” buttons to see all of our content. 

As for the Duchefa Direct page, we carry a variety of Duchefa products on our main GoldBio website, but the Duchefa Direct site is set up for you to browse an even larger inventory of Duchefa products.

GoldBio Website - Browse blogs, videos, duchefa products

So that’s it. The changes aren’t really that bad. In time, there will be more, but we’ll keep you posted when they happen.

Please be sure to leave us any feedback you have about the site. Either comment, or email us directly and give us your thoughts. 

PS. A big thanks goes out to Chris Menne on our team for working hard on organizing this updated!






    
              Karen Martin
GoldBio Marketing Coordinator


"To understand the universe is to understand math." My 8th grade
math teacher's quote meant nothing to me at the time. Then came
college, and the revelation that the adults in my past were right all
along. But since math feels less tangible, I fell for biology and have
found pure happiness behind my desk at GoldBio, learning, writing
and loving everything science. 

Category Code: 88261

Posted by Karen on September 9th, 2015  ⟩  0 comments

Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) comes in many forms, which is why people frequently post questions online, asking what BSA should be used in their experiment. Forum responses have been good about directly addressing the procedure in question, but it's really hard to find a consolidated resource that helps researchers evaluate each type of BSA and their appropriate uses. Since the Internet is lacking a central guide, I set out to investigate what goes into choosing between BSA types and provide these answers in this article.

First, we should address what types of BSA exist in the market. GoldBio offers two types: protease free and fatty acid free (I’ll explain why fatty acid free is a good choice for many experiments later on in this article). But then you have other types of BSA, such as standard BSA, low endotoxin, immunoglobulin free and blocking agent BSA. Obviously each type offers certain features that may help or hurt your project. So which one is best for your experiment?

To figure this out, we should look at common processes that use BSA:

1.Cell Culture

2.ELISA

3.Enzyme System Diluent

4.Immunology

5.Protein Stabilization

6.Carrier Protein



One Chart to Rule Them All

Which one of these six common methods are you using? That’s going to be what helps you decide which BSA is right for your experiment. Certain types of BSA will cover a multitude of techniques; for that reason, it is better to address which BSA types are appropriate for each process in a simple chart rather than long paragraphs where overlaps aren't as evident.
BSA Selection Guide Chart - What BSA (Bovine Serum Albumin) Should I Use – Your BSA Selection Guide






  

Beyond the Chart:

The chart certainly reduces having to do heavy research into finding the best option. It also makes it clear that there are certain BSA types that reach further than others. For example, it's obvious that fatty acid free BSA and protease free BSA works well in a wide variety of techniques, making each a more ideal product, while a blocking BSA is best used only as a blocking agent in ELISA. 

But beyond these criteria, there are other very important factors to consider. Number one is usually price. Being sure it fits the budget is make-or-break for almost every researcher. The next go-to for a researcher is purity. But let’s say you found the right BSA type, it fits your budget and it has excellent purity, what else should you consider? When evaluating BSA, the location it’s manufactured in and if it’s certified as bovine spongiform encephalopathy compliant is also vital for obvious reasons.







Why Choose Fatty Acid Free BSA?

The factors mentioned in this article are exactly what GoldBio considered when first offering protease free BSA, and then more recently our fatty acid free BSA, which is also protease free. We were determined to provide researchers with a product that satisfies most criteria for BSA selection. First, they’re both extremely affordable and have high purity. Beyond that, however, both products are manufactured in the USA and are BSE/TSE compliant. And while GoldBio’s protease free BSA is appropriate for a variety of common techniques, we recently introduced fatty acid free BSA because it is useful in an even broader range of experiments, not just the ones listed on the chart. Besides satisfying some check boxes, fatty acid free BSA eliminates certain variables from the experiment. In fact, there are times when the nature of the experiment necessitates the use of fatty acid free BSA over others. For instance, if you're working with a fatty acid sensitive cell culture system such as CHO, Vero and MDCK cells, fatty acid free BSA is more suitable for those situations. 

Of course both products have their limits. They won't be ideal for processes such as PCR or bloodbanking, but in general, both BSA types, and more particularly the fatty acid free BSA will allow you to stretch the product over a wider variety of techniques without costing much more. Economically, it's a better choice. And if you still question whether this product or other BSA types are right for you, it’s best to do additional research to be certain. 




If you found this guide useful, you might want to share it with others and check out some of our other articles, which are both helpful and entertaining. 







    
              Karen Martin
GoldBio Marketing Coordinator


"To understand the universe is to understand math." My 8th grade
math teacher's quote meant nothing to me at the time. Then came
college, and the revelation that the adults in my past were right all
along. But since math feels less tangible, I fell for biology and have
found pure happiness behind my desk at GoldBio, learning, writing
and loving everything science. 



Category Code: 88253 79105

Posted by Karen on August 27th, 2015  ⟩  0 comments

Life hacks are all over the Internet, but laboratory hacks are more difficult to find. After being inspired, I did some research on lab hacks and have compiled this list for you!

First, if you’re not familiar with the term “life hack,” let me explain. A life hack is like a genius trick or shortcut that solves a problem in such simple ways. For example, take a new or old post it note, and with the sticky side down, dip it into the grooves of your keyboard to clean out dust – GENIUS!

The life hack craze has become so popular that twitter has a hashtag out there: #LifeHacks. You can also Google dozens of blogs with lists and pictures of genius hacks.

What you don’t find easily on Google are list blogs about laboratory hacks. And yet, we learn some early on. When something doesn’t work, or you simply have a problem that needs solved, your ingenuity in the lab shines. GoldBio even had some fun with lab ingenuity earlier in the year to see who could come up with some really creative ways to repurpose our floating tube racks – and some ideas could be classified as lab hacks.

But since there aren’t a lot of articles out there about laboratory hacks, and the articles that do exist seem to promote a single tip through a long blog, I set out to build this list. I looked to our researchers, the Internet and to researchers out on social media for tips and suggestions.

After some digging, here are 25 laboratory hacks from researchers like yourself ( feel free to add yours in the comment section below), some you might be familiar with, and others you might wonder, “why didn’t I think of that?” I know this will be a fantastic resource to pass along to others in your lab or network!

1. Want an easier way to cut bands out of your gel?

This genius tip came from a  Reddit user who explained that rather than going right in with a UV lamp and cutting out the band, which can sometimes be difficult to visualize, you can image the results first, and print it out scaled to the actual size. Next, cut the printed pictured band of interest out. Then it’s simply a matter of superimposing the image over the gel, and cutting out your actual band with the handy, customized stencil you made.

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You- 1 Excise DNA bands perfectly

Print your image at the actual size.

Cut out the band of interest.

Now you have a perfect stencil.

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You- 1 Excise DNA bands perfectly

Now you can cut out the band

of interest with no problem.



2. Have a cracked gel rig, and is it the only one available to run your gel?

According to one Reddit user, you can fix the crack temporarily with 4% agarose or higher. It should last you a few runs – long enough to get a new one.

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You - Fix a cracked gel rig with 4% agarose or higher



3. Want a faster way to cool your melted agarose?

We mentioned this tip in an earlier video (around 5:32 into the video). To cool your gel quickly, use a 60 °C water bath. We found a few other researchers who swear by this method.



4. Don’t have access to the water bath for some reason and need to cool your gel?

Another fast way to cool your melted agarose was presented by a Reddit user who explained that if you’re doing a gel (anything below a 2% gel should work), mix half of your TAE and all of your weighed agarose and then microwave it. Once clearly in solution and melted, add the other half of your TAE buffer. Be careful with this trick, and let the hot agarose cool just a little bit, and don’t do it if your buffer is cold. The hot and cold mix could cause a volcano instead, or worse. (Use this tip at your own risk, and again, be very careful).



5. Can’t pour a gel without getting bubbles?

It happens to everyone! But there’s a solution, which was also mentioned in the agarose video. You can either use your gel comb or use a pipette tip to pop those tiny bubbles, making your gel nice and smooth. Be sure that there are no bubbles near the comb because that can influence how the gel actually runs.

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You - Pop tiny bubbles in your gel electrophoresis with a pipette tip



6. Need to thaw some tubes quickly?

Rather than trying to warm them in your hands, and enduring freezing digits as a result, we discovered that some researchers use the snug little coin pockets in their jeans to thaw tubes. Tubes fit perfectly, and the body heat emitted quickly liquefies the contents.




  

7. Hate it when you can’t find a marker or it "walks away?"

Tape markers under your bench, under hoods and at other secret places. Make sure to tape them at the lid so you can simply pull the marker off, and reattach it when you’re done.

laboratory hacks - genius hacks for the lab

 

8. Nearly anything at the bench can work as scratch paper.

According to a lot of researchers, when you don’t have paper or your notebook handy, you have a lot of alternatives, including your lab bench thanks to the power of Sharpie and 50% ethanol or higher. Write on your gloves, write on paper towels, or write directly on the bench, that’s where you’ll need the ethanol to erase it later. (While ethanol works well to erase Sharpie ink, GoldBio is not responsible for any property damage in the event that it doesn’t come off clean).

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You - Lab Trick #8, everything can turn into scratch paper with the help of Sharpie and ethanol



9. Hate it when you pull out one Kimwipe with a single hand and the whole box comes with it? 

Cut a small slit in the top of the Kimwipes box so you can insert a large binder clip through it, now clip the box to your bench or bench shelves with the wipes facing out (towards you). When you only have one hand, you can grab a wipe without taking the whole box with you.

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You - Mount Kimwipes to your lab bench with binder clips

Use Binder clips to mount

Kimwipes to your bench shelves.

 Measure before you cut.

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You - Use Binder Clips to Mount Kimwipes to your lab bench

Once you made the slit at the top of the

box, stick one end of the binder clip through it.

Now, all you have to do is use the binder clip

to pinch it to your lab bench or shelf.



10. Can’t stand keeping your pipettes in a drawer, or is the stand taking up too much space?

One of the researchers at my old university built a wooden pipette stand that attached to the lab bench, which at the time I thought was genius but it required a lot of work. Instead, this hack simplifies it, which is the point. Simply use large binder clips to mount your pipettes to the bench shelves. The loop of the binder clip is the perfect size to hold your pipettes.

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You- User Binder Clips to mount your pipettes to your lab bench or shelves




11. Have long hair and forgot your hair tie or lost it?

When you don’t have a hair tie handy for your long hair, grab a glove and cut the brim off. It will work well enough. You can also use rubber bands, but those can hurt a lot more when you go to take it out.

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You - cut the brim of your lab glove off to make a hair tie when you lost yoursIf you lost your hair tie and need it

for the lab, cut right along the brim

of your glove.

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You - cut the brim of your lab glove off to make a hair tie when you lost yours

It won't look amazing, but it works

perfect, and it doesn't hurt to pull

out of your hair.



12. Don’t have time for long conversation?

This is a tip we hear a lot: Whenever you leave the lab to talk to a lab mate or your PI, set your timer before you leave and take it with you. Then if you get caught up in a conversation and your timer goes off, well then you better go take care of whatever it is that needs taken care of – you now have a polite excuse to leave.

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You - Your timer can save you from a long conversation with your PI.



13. Did you mess up a step in your protocol – and it’s a technique you do all the time?

As seasoned as you are, most researchers preach using checklists. But here’s the actual hack: Rather than printing those checklists out over and over, or writing them out over and over, simply write it out once, place it in a binder sleeve protector and use a dry erase marker to check off each step. Then erase when you’re done and reuse.

BONUS: Do you have undergrads in your lab that you’re worried about missing steps? Create a binder of checklists for common techniques (PCR or media recipes, for example). Now it’s there in your lab as a reference. The best part is that anyone in your lab can simply take a particular sleeve out of the binder, use it at the bench, and replace it when he or she is finished. It’ll give undergrads early practice at using checklists, and they’ll implement this trick in their future labs. And, if you’re worried about not getting those sleeves back, keep a master file in your desk, so you can replace them later.

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You - Insert protocol checklists into sleeve protectors to reuse over rand over

Print out checklists for 

common techniques. Slide

them into their own sleeve 

protector.

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You - Insert protocol checklists into sleeve protectors to reuse over rand over

Now you can check off each step

with a dry erase marker.

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You - Insert protocol checklists into sleeve protectors to reuse over rand over

And it erases right off, allowing

you to reuse your checklists

over and over



14. Do you have those bad days where you mix things wrong, despite your checklist?

It happens to all of us, and this is why it doesn’t hurt to research products that actually eliminate steps, reduce mistakes and promote consistent results every time. Two of our favorites are our GoldBio  PBS (phosphate buffered saline) tablets, and GoldBio Agarose LE Tablets. Both are meant to reduce time and lead to more consistent results. But let’s face it, they’re also really handy to have when you know it’s going to be one of those days. Save yourself the trouble and use the shortcuts when you think you’ll need them the most.

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You - When having a bad day in the lab, use products meant to simplify steps



15. Need to float something bigger than a micro centrifuge tube in a water bath?

You can repurpose your floating tube racks by cutting larger holes in them, enabling you to float your conical centrifuge tubes too. And if you already shop GoldBio, then I’m sure you have a good supply of GoldBio floating tube racks in your lab.

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You - Repurpose floating tube racks to hold larger vials



16. Need a quick tube rack for your PCR tubes?

This is a hack that you learn pretty quickly during undergraduate research, but it’s still worth mentioning. You can repurpose pipette tip containers into PCR racks. While this is well known, what you don’t always learn while doing undergraduate research, is that you can tape two together or you can simply stack two together. That gives them enough height off the bench so PCR tubes won’t pop out.

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You - Double stack pipette holders and use those as a PCR tube rack



17. Hate always making the same master mixes for your common PCRs?

One researcher from Reddit said she makes complete master mixes with primers, dNTPs, buffer, Taq and water. She then aliquots out her stock and then freezes them. So far, she said this has not had any negative results, and it has saved her a ton of time.




18. Want to make media prep easier?

One of our own scientists suggested aliquoting out antibiotics like ampicillin or carbenicillin – any for that matter, into premeasured amounts that you’ll need later for your flasks of LB.

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You - Aliquot out antibiotics for LB. Keep aliquots frozen until ready to use them




19. Do you keep misplacing razor blades in your lab, or need a better place for them?

Just get a sticky magnet, mount it to the outward base of your bench’s shelf and stick your razor blades to the magnet. Make sure to face it up.

BONUS: You can get a pretty long strip of adhesive magnet, so clip off extra to stick over the blade. That just covers all bases.

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You - use a magnet to hold razor blades in your lab

Use adhesive magnetic strips to mount

razor blades for your lab. Make sure they

face up.

As a bonus, cover the razor blades with left over 

magnetic strips as a safety measure. Then cover or

uncover as needed



20. Hate when the dull end of the razor blade feels like it’s cutting you when applying pressure?

This is my own hack that I learned while working in a frame shop. Wrap just a bit of masking tape around your finger. The tape becomes your second skin, allowing you to really apply force and have no pain when using your razor blade in the lab.

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You - When using a straight blade, put masking tape over your finger as a second skin




21. Need an image from your microscope but aren’t using one that has a camera mount?

It really doesn’t matter anymore. Your cellphone’s camera can get those pictures. It takes a little skill, but it can be done. One of my former professors said this trick can even work with a flip phone! In fact, this is starting to become so popular that one person created an iPhone microscope mount for a 3D printing contest.

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You - Your cell phone, even flip phones can take microscope pictures




22. Is that pellet not breaking up, no matter how long you vortex it?

Use your tube racks like a washboard to break up those stubborn pellets. Run the tube up and down along the rack. Your action combined with the holes of the rack will break that pellet up perfectly.

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You - When vortexing your tubes aren't working, use your tube rack as a washboard




23. Have a ton of tubes to mix by inverting?

Here’s a hack that is probably well-known to those with advanced degrees, but not necessarily to an undergraduate researcher (reason to share). When you have multiple tubes that need to be mixed by inverting a few times, just stick the tubes in your tube rack, place your hand over the top of the tubes and start inverting the whole set.

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You - Invert multiple tubes at once using your tube rack

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You - Invert multiple tubes at once using your tube rack



24. Wish you could search your lab notebook?

Rather than scanning the pages of your lab notebook and creating hard to search PDFs, take pictures of the pages and store them with Evernote. The app lets you post the image onto an Evernote note, allowing you to label it and provide a description. Now, not only can you search through your digital notebook later, but if you ever lose your notebook, you have it stored. 




25. Want a centrifuge balancing cheat?

According to one Reddit user, you can balance centrifuges that are divisible by two and three without using extra tubes – except in cases where you have only one sample or your samples fill all but one slot of the centrifuge.

25 Real Lab Hacks from Researchers Like You - Balance your centrifuge with configurations of 2 or 3 tubes

                                         This image is based on the Reddit user's  image submission.




If you found the post helpful, take some time out to browse our other articles that might also be useful – hey, get adventurous and browse some of our products too. Drop us a comment here or on Facebook, especially if you have some of your own hacks to add to this list. We can definitely do a follow up post in the future if we get more ideas! 

I want to give a huge thank you to researchers on Reddit who inspired the idea, and contributed their wisdom. I would also like to thank all of our other researchers who jumped in with wonderful ideas.




    
              Karen Martin
GoldBio Marketing Coordinator


"To understand the universe is to understand math." My 8th grade
math teacher's quote meant nothing to me at the time. Then came
college, and the revelation that the adults in my past were right all
along. But since math feels less tangible, I fell for biology and have
found pure happiness behind my desk at GoldBio, learning, writing
and loving everything science. 



Category Code: 79101 79103 79105 79108 79109 79107

Posted by Chris on August 21st, 2015  ⟩  0 comments

It is an inherently human trait to look for patterns in objects or things that we can personalize or make familiar. We do it with everything that is strange to us, in order to make it feel less strange. Our ancestors did it with stars they saw in the ancient night sky and our children (and some grown-upslike me) still do so with clouds on lazy summer afternoons.

Acronym fact

We also do it with words. Acronyms and initialisms are a huge part of our daily lives when titles or names get too long to bother saying all the time; from government agencies who use initialisms like FBI and acronyms like NASA to common associations like AARP or D.A.R.E.

Many times, the choice between the use of an acronym or an initialism is made for us, and we all quickly fall in line behind the originator of the term. By making a pattern of the abbreviations of these names, we make them less strange for our tongues to say and less strange for our ears to hear. And creating a perfect abbreviation is truly an art form, both in terms of gaining support, as well as the instant recognition factor, although many of the ones we think of as extremely clever are actually “backronyms;” when names are created to fit a preexisting acronym instead of the name existing first (think “SHIELD” from the Marvel movies - Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division).

Initialism fact

In science, we use initials all the time when referring to chemicals and reagents. Common initialisms reverberate through the lab with names like dH2O, NaOH, BME, DTT, IPTG or YEPD (Yeast Extract Peptone Dextrose). And there are even more reagents that we regularly use which have developed into bonafide acronyms over the years for easier pronunciation, such as TEMED (Tetramethylethylenediamine), MUG (4-Methylumbelliferyl beta-D-glucuronide), TCEP (Tris (2-Carboxyethyl) phosphine) or FITC (Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate).

But what about all those reagents that you just don’t know how to say? We all use buffers nearly every day in the lab.And while there are often lab traditions, passed down from PI to PI, on how to pronounce a buffer’s name this way or that. But we have all suffered the embarrassment of mispronouncing a “common” name in front of colleagues and being “educated” in the correct pronunciation by the token know-it-all of the group. Dr. Norman Good gave us a huge number of buffers, and to each one, he prescribed a “trivial name”.


   

And while I’m sure that Dr. Good had a preferred way of saying these names, he unfortunately did not leave his established pronunciation guide for how he spoke them personally, whether he used them as initialisms or whether he created acronyms out of the abbreviations.

But for all the confused researchers and grad students out there, GoldBio is here to help put an end to the grab-bag of buffer names. As we have a large number of Good’s buffers in stock, we’d like to take a moment to settle the questions once and for all as how to pronounce our buffers so that you can say their names with confidence and authority with the GoldBio seal of approval.

GoldBio Buffers (pronunciation guide via Merriam Webster):

Buffer Name Type Pronunciation Rhymes with
ACES Acronym ā’ ses “bases” or “vases”
ADA Initialism

BES Initialism

Bicine Acronym bī’ sēn “my scene”
CAPS Acronym caps “flaps” or “maps”
CHES Acronym ches “press” or “less”
HEPES Acronym hep’ ēz “step please”
HEPPSO Acronym hep’ sō “step low”
MES Initialism

MOPS Acronym mäps “hops”
MOPSO Acronym mäp’ sō “hop no”
PIPES Acronym pīps “hypes” or “types”
TAPS Acronym taps “flaps” or “maps”
TES Initialism

Tricine Acronym trī’ sēn “my scene”

And now you know! By the way, I only included our buffers that are obvious acronyms and initialisms. If you would like to know the proper pronunciation of other reagent abbreviations, leave a note in the comment section and we’ll get back to you!

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