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Does anyone know what type of equipment they have? What about consumables (enzymes, tubes, etc...). I'd love to try a few things at the bench, but would need to know what to bring.

I'm a bit curious though as to whether or not they should have an IRB or some sort of rules about what types of experiments can go on there...


Here's a list of the equipment available today: pipettes, pipette tips, realtime PCR machine, OpenPCR PCR machine, incubator, shaking water bath, vortexers, gel electrophoresis boxes.

If you don't have an experiment in mind, we have lots of awesome classes where you can do things like sequence your own DNA and make glowing cells: http://meetup.com/biocurious

Tito co-founder BioCurious

Hi. Horses are very important animals in where i live(We even have ministry of horses...). So me and one friend of mine tried to isolate DNA from best horse breeds and then make a database, and later mine that database to perform selection predictions by computer... Its a big project and founded by gvt. I am not a part of it, my friend just consults me from time to time, since I am both acquainted with programming and biology. We are stuck with DNA isolation from horse blood right now. Do you think this kind of experiment would be interesting?

Is there a veterinary school near you (Turkmenistan)? If so, this is your best bet. They should have the equipment to do proper DNA isolation from blood. (Something like this will help: Qiagen DNeasy Blood and Tissue kit [1]) What you'll probably want to do is high-throughput DNA sequencing and then map the sequences to the Horse genome [2]. Then you'll be able to compare the variations from various breeds.

But this is a pretty large project.

[1] http://www.qiagen.com/products/genomicdnastabilizationpurifi...

[2] http://www.uky.edu/Ag/Horsemap/ (I think)

Hi, thank you for the info. The project is well funded(equipment is therefor isnt much of an issue), the problem is not with money but with professionals. The guy just finished university, and they ask him to conduct this project. There are not many people here who know this stuff, neither the biological aspect nor the programming. And I guess they don't want to hire foreigners, i am not sure why. You see, horses are so important here, you can even get a sentence for killing one. So maybe it has something to do with foreigners thing.

Making bacteria glow at the BioCurious meetup last month was one of the most fun things I've done, because, well, IT'S SCIENCE!, but also for the curiosity of the participants, the patience and knowledge of the instructors, and the slightly strange feeling I got where, on that particular Saturday afternoon, I doubted you could find another group of people engaged in quite the same pastime on planet Earth!

It's been a while since I did my IRB training but I believe activities here are exempt since there's no federal funding involved. Privately funded research (for instance, the social sciency papers involving human subjects that come out of Microsoft Research) generally don't go through IRB, afaik.

Even if there isn't any federal requirement for an IRB, it probably isn't a bad idea to have some sort of oversight. You don't want someone doing something stupid there. You also need to make sure that there are some safety standards to be followed (autoclaving biohazard waste, or limiting work to BSL-1, for example).

Another example: you don't want someone sequencing a person's genome without approval. (It's probably not as big of a risk here as it would be to a place like 23andme, but they should still probably try to cover themselves).

Edit: It looks like they've had some of these same discussions on their mailing list: http://groups.google.com/group/biocurious/browse_thread/thre...

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