For independent scientists or artists doing DIYBio it is not always easy to get the biomaterials and wet ware easily. Here is a list of shops that are hacker-friendly and cheap:
If you know a good store that you can recommend, please add it to the list.
Chemistry, good quality, cheap and big choice from ebay:
Poll on FaceBook by Alex Kelly:
"Sunday morning question: What basic equipment/reagent/material have you struggled to obtain on the open consumer market?":
- Sucrose and amino acids from sigma, "sent to US residential adress for a legit company - but they insisted on an official lab"
- Chloral hydrate
- Temperature regulators / thermostats. Julabo or Huber. "No second hand units available in Australia"
- pure ethanol -"believe it or not".
- The common inorganic acids (e.g. conc H2SO4)
- Lithium acetate
- Methacrylic anhydride
- PEG in different molecular weights, PEG in 8000 and 3350
- Glacial HOAc
- Acetone AR
- 2-Hydroxy-4′-(2-hydroxyethoxy)-2-methylpropiophenone (Is a photoinitiator in case you're wondering.)
- NaOH solid (prills/pellets/whatever) (Must be AR, if I wanted Bunnings-grade I'd just buy it.)
- A lot of the acetate salts (and acid) tend to pop up a lot in molecular biology and biochemistry in buffers etc.
- Cost-effective DNA dyes such as ethidium / GelRed / SYBR / whatever
- EDTA disodium dihydrate (sometimes people specify EDTA without specifying which salt and which hydrate, which is a pain because you don't specifically know what the counter ion is, or the molecular weight.)
- Glycerol, DMSO, MgCl2, CaCl2, EDTA, Tris
- Glycerol and DMSO
- Pure NaCl
- Common media such as LB as well as individual components such as yeast extract and peptone etc.
- Premix common buffers such as TAE
- Common antibiotics e.g. ampicillin
- Organic solvents that don't leave residue when evaporated
- Ion-exchange resins for DNA workup, like Chelex sort of stuff.
- Chloroform and phenol.
- Isoamyl alcohol
- PCR Mastermix
- Schott bottles (or clones) in a spectrum of sizes including the little 100ml ones.
- Stock microorganisms. Nothing dangerous but the common risk group 1 stuff. Like stock of Saccharomyces and K12.
- strains of mice
- Stock plasmids (e.g. common expression vectors, scaffolds, Cas9 templates)
- monopotassium phosphate and dipotassium phosphate
Thanks to everyone who helped compile this list...
"Perhaps some of us should start a business selling scientific supplies, reagents etc marketed towards citizen scientist, hackers etc.. Could sell cheap kits for open source hardware too".. (Leo Mason)
Chemical Purchasing list on sciencebuddies.org.
The ODIN - The Open Discovery Institute - ebe:
Good quality TAQ and home brewing of biomaterials:
Agarose and Tubes from ebay: