Sequencer and Molecular Biological Facilities

Molecular and genetic work is performed at Northern Michigan University in a suite of fully-equipped modern laboratories. Housed in the New Science Facility (construction completed in 2001) the facility has state-of the art equipment and is entirely up-to-date. Seven laboratories are involved, each having over 20 m2 of epoxy resin benchtop workspace, 40m3 of cabinetry storage, several sinks, eyewash Sequencer stations, an emergency shower station and a Safeaire fume hood. Our facility is equipped with refrigerators, freezers, ovens, microcentrifuges, scales, stirrer-hotplates, incubators, glassware, pipets, electrophoretic rigs, a SpeedVac refrigerated concentrator and other miscellaneous minor equipment needed for performing molecular and genetic analyses. Northern Michigan University also has several large capacity refrigerated centrifuges, two walk-in 4°C cold rooms, two walk-in 37°C incubators and two ultra-low -70ºC freezers. These facilities provide nearly every type of equipment needed to undertake cellular, molecular and genetic research.

Major Equipment

ABI 3100-Avant Gene Analyzer
Acquired in 2004, this machine performs various genetic analyses, including: DNA sequencing, microsatellite genotyping, single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analyses. The technology of the ABI-3100 Avant is based on advanced polymer electrophoresis through an array of four single-channel capillary tubes, and can be modified with a 16 single-channel array should throughput warrant such an upgrade.

DNA Documentation Station
Used for visualization and documentation of DNA at various stages of experimentation. The equipment included at this station includes: Hitaci Gene Spec I Spectrophotometer, Spectroline UV Transilluminator, Kodak EDAS 290 Digital Gel imaging system, IBM tower Spectrophotometer/Gel imaging Workstation with laser printer.

DNA Amplification
Two thermal cycling machines are located in the lab, both of which can accommodate up to 96 single thin-walled reaction tubes, or a 96 well plate. The Perkin Elmer Geneamp System 9600 is a standard, dependable thermal cycler, and the Eppendorf Mastercycler Gradient is a new machine capable of gradient profiles which speed the optimization of PCR analyses.