What is a PCR Machine?

PCR stands for Polymerase Chain Reaction, which is often used in biological and chemical labs. A thermal cycler, or PCR machine, has the ability to produce DNA copies of a specific segment that can range from thousands to millions in numbers. (Learn More: What Is The Polymerase Chain Reaction?)

This machine, also called a DNA PCR Machineamplifier, can serve various purposes such as gene analysis, the evolutionary study between organisms or phylogeny and for diagnosing various long term diseases with the help of DNA structure.

Also, it’s used in the field of forensic sciences in arriving at the results based on fingerprints patterns and for testing paternity. Thanks to Kary B. Mullis, who invented PCR technique in 1985!

How PCR Machines Work

The basic function of this machine is copying the sections of DNA and this is performed though a heating cycle. This is performed when the temperature rises to 95 degree Celsius which in turn melts the DNA strands. This melting of DNA strands causes the backbones of sugar phosphate to split apart.

Then as the temperature lowers, the primers bind them 3 inch end of each sequence of target. Primers are able to perform this task as the DNA polymerase taq and free nucleotides aid it in the process.

This process goes on so that there are two strands of double partially stranded molecules of DNA at the end of first cycle. The same process continues to be repeated again and again causing thousands of copies of the particular target sequence.

Features and Uses for a PCR Machine

There are various features of attraction in a DNA amplifier, such as the automated ability, array of thermo cyclers and models, number of manufacturers to choose from, different cooling system designs, variant tubing capacity, heating block in various sizes, multiple heating blocks models and ability to reach to high amplifications within short time.

Though these thermal cyclers are essential tool for all the biologists, they are not very easy to afford. In spite of its price, this DNA amplifier can be found to be extensively used in various laboratories in universal standards, public school facilities, health centers and forensic departments.

There are various advantages of using an automated thermal cycler in comparison to the traditional ones, like the former helps in clinical diagnosis, finds DNA sequencing, medicines, gene manipulation, gene expression study, genomics comparative study and helps in cloning of genes.

Types of PCR Machines

A DNA amplifier is highly versatile in nature and serves great purpose in various fields. It is available in various types to suit the requirements of different sector and other applications. Some of these types are:

Quantitative and Real Time PCR Machine

To quantify and detect DNA sample, this type of machine is widely used for amplification. This thermal cycler uses DNA dyes and fluorescent reporter for its method of probing.

Inverse PCR Machine

This is used to carry out amplification method that helps you identify the flanking sequence of different genomic inserts. This is DND amplification from known sequence to unknown sequence.

Anchored PCR Machine

When small sequence of nucleotides needs to be tagged to a particular DNA of target, the anchor is frequented by poly G by using poly C primer.

Reverse Transcriptase PCR Machine

This is used of RNA molecules amplification. This type of machine is highly used for profiling expression, finding gene expression and identifying RNA sequence in a transcript.

Asymmetric PCR Machine

When there is a requirement for single strand molecules synthesis of DNA, which is essential for DNA sequencing, this PCR machine is widely used. It can perform 20 to 25 cycles of amplification using two primers. When one cycle is completed, one primer gets exhausted and in another 5 to 10 cycles, single strand DNA is produced.

Allele Specific PCR Machine

When there is a need to identify and detect a selective single nucleotide polymorphism, this thermal cycler is widely used. It uses a special design primer, which will match or not match the alleles at the primer end of 3′.

Colony PCR Machine

This machine is used to detect the formation of bacterial colonies after a plasmid transformation.

Conventional PCR Machine

This makes use of standard Polymerase Chain Reaction process that helps you produce billion copies of DNA and RNA strand.

Nested PCR Machine

After the initial 30 to 35 Polymerase Chain Reaction cycles, the new primers are nested along with the old primers to aid in a sensitive process as it reduces the risk involved in it.

Is Distilled Water Safe To Drink?

You’re wondering – is distilled water safe to drink?  The short answer is yes – drinking distilled water is safe.  There’s a bit of confusion surrounding this type of water, so let’s go ahead and clear some things up.

Can You Drink Distilled Water Even Though It Has No Minerals?

It seems one of the reasons against drinking distilled water is that it doesn’t have any minerals.  This is a ridiculous argument, quite honestly.  Most people don’t even drink enough water as it is, and worrying about whether or not you’re getting the proper amount of minerals from the tiny trace amounts of minerals you might be taking in via your water is simply ridiculous.

You get your necessary minerals from food, not water.  You get water from water.  The only thing you might miss out on is Fluoride.  Fluoride is often added to tap water in the United States and some other areas.  However, drinking a bottle of distilled water isn’t going to make your teeth fall out of your face from lack of fluoride.  There are plenty of people on the planet who get by just fine without this luxury.

Is It OK To Drink Distilled Water Even Though It Tastes Bad?

Well, we’re talking about the safety of drinking distilled water here.  People argue that you shouldn’t drink it because it tastes bad.  This isn’t really a safety issue at all – you aren’t going to die if you drink water that isn’t up to your flavor standards.  You could die if you don’t drink water though, so if your only option is to drink distilled water, you should probably drink up.  Water is water, and there are mild flavor differences between any two sources.  You could go to a friend’s house and not like their water.  You might even find that you prefer the very clean taste of distilled water.

There are no real arguments for or against drinking distilled water as far as health and safety are concerned.  There’s no reason to go out of your way avoid it or to specifically drink it, but is it safe to drink distilled water?  It sure is.

Final Note:  If you’re sitting in your chemistry class, feeling a little thirsty, eye-balling that distilled water bottle, and looking this up on your iPhone because you’re wondering – is distilled water safe to drink?  IT’S NOT in this case.

IT’S NEVER SAFE TO DRINK OR EAT ANYTHING IN A CHEMISTRY LAB

 

Density of Water

As with anything, the density of water is dependent upon temperature.  The odd thing about liquid water is that when its temperature is lowered to the point of becoming a solid it actually becomes less dense.  You may have heard of this solid substance – it’s called ice.  You may have also noticed that ice floats, and this is a result of this interesting water density phenomenon.

What Is The Density of Water?

The density of water at room temperature is 1,000 kg/m³.  This means at room temperature 1,000 kg of water will take up approximately 1 cubic meter.  It is actually not precisely 1, but rather very close.  It does indeed become more dense – approaching closer to 1,000 kg/m³.  Water is actually most dense at 4°C, and then the density decreases minimally until it reaches freezing temperature (0°C or 32°F) at which point the density of ice becomes almost 10% less dense than liquid water.  This is a result of the molecular structure of ice.  Fewer H20 molecules can fit into the same space due to the rigid structure caused by the hydrogen bonds in water, which decreases the density.  This relationship between the density of water and ice is a rare one, and few other substances share this property.

A Table of The Density of Water At Different Temperatures

Temp (°C) Density (kg/m3)
100 958.4
80 971.8
60 983.2
40 992.2
30 995.65
25 997.05
22 997.77
20 998.21
15 999.1
10 999.7
4 999.97
0 999.84
−10 998.12
−20 993.55
−30 983.85

The information for this water density table is from Wikipedia.com.

Amongst the density of water at various temperatures, you can see that freezing temperature is highlighted there.  Notice how the density increases up until 4°C, hits freezing, and then rapidly decreases.

The density of salt water is dependent upon the concentration of salt disolved in the water.  Sea water with the lowest concentrations of salt are located around the Equator, while those with the highest concentrations are located at the poles.

You should now have a better understanding about how the density of water works.

3 DIY Computer Project Ideas

We can all agree that DIY projects call for artistry and practicality. Likewise, this kind of project inspires you to come up with your own plans and apply your mental fortitude. Not just that, you’re also required to employ some elbow grease, but the end of the day, you can feel proud of yourself as you look at your final output.

As for the nerds, we can probably say that their DIY projects are really outstanding most of the time. These people are willing to spend countless of hours just to perfect their craft– whether it’s a self-programmed app or a homebrew computer.

Here are the top 3 DIY computer project ideas for the nerds to try.

1) Lean, Green Gaming Machine

Say goodbye to tablets and smartphones; when it comes to gaming, nothing beats the full-sized gaming computers! In fact, they’re even described as the “true thoroughbreds.” Gaming computers are faster, bigger, and no doubt, more powerful than any type of computer you’d usually find in most homes. However, no matter how awesome they are, there’s still a slight drawback– they’re not that eco-friendly.

If you’re not aware (which we highly doubt), during a serious gaming session, these computers suck down hundreds of watts just to ensure that the CPU, graphic processors, and other high-end components will be running smoothly, no matter what.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to green your machine.

Select components that consume less wattage. This will be possible if you’ll opt for a custom-built computer with parts that you personally select. Also, due to the fact that most manufacturers are more sensitive to green concerns now, they have produced power-sipping products, such as the AMD and Nvidia. Even ASUS unleashed its Ge-Force GTX 650-E– a high-end graphics card that only consume 60 watts at peak power.

2) A Computer for a Tight Budget

If you’re cheap, or you’re just trying to pinch pennies, then this one is for you– a cheap, yet functional computer. Basically, this computer will have the cheapest components available and you shouldn’t focus much attention for the quality.

The idea here is to get your hands dirty and build your computer without worrying how you can avail a $400 graphic card. Just buy a barebones computer kit and you’re all set. However, if you want to turn this into a hobby or perhaps, a business, there’s no harm in searching for the pieces yourself.

This kind of project will give you the experience you need in matching compatibilities and you’ll also understand the complimentary weaknesses and strengths of the computer parts.

3) DIY Home Theater Computer

Everyone wants to have a home theater, but not all have the budget for that. This DIY idea will turn your computer into the brain of the home theater. Likewise, it will also serve as the storage device for your media, together with the audio and video output. Not just that, you can also use your computer and turn it into a digital recorder.

Though, before you start, keep in mind that there are a lot of things to be considered when building a home theater, such as the need of a remote control and the accompanying software. Though, that’s not all, you’ll also need to look for ways on how to interface the cable with your computer. A TV tuner can be utilized to capture over-the-air television, and you can use HDMI or DVI input to connect your computer to your TV. Don’t worry, most TVs these days have one of these inputs and all you have to do is make your computer compatible for it.

These are just some of the DIY computer project ideas that you can try. There are a lot of options available. Just keep in mind that you have the ability to turn your computer into whatever you want it to be, as long as you have the skills and knowledge needed for it.

DIY Computer Desk Build

There are numerous benefits to building your very own computer desk. 1st, it’s much cheaper than purchasing one. You may also get your desk to fit in the right space. You can also make sure it is a desk which fits your body well so you do not get any back or neck problems or the carpal tunnel syndrome.

Computer desks generally have a top where a keyboard and a mouse sits, and raised area where the monitor sits. Certain desks put the mouse and keyboard on a shelf under the main top. The CPU may sit on top of the computer desk, beside the computer desk, or on some special shelf that’s created for it. The computer desk may be set or designed at any height so as to fit special chairs or stools, or to be utilized while standing. Beyond this, the options are all up to you. Certain users prefer minimal setups, with maybe just a top & the legs; some others prefer a lot of storage area, with drawers and file cabinets.

Most of the planning that’s involved when building the computer desk mainly concerns the placement and the number of peripherals. For instance, a printer is 1 of the peripherals that many users have, & where you actually decide to put it will have a major effect on the design. In case you wish to put it on your desktop, you’ll need to make your desktop larger. You may build a customized shelf for holding it, either above your monitor or below your desktop, or you may build another cabinet that’s entirely separate from your computer desk. Some other peripherals you may need to consider include; power supplies, scanners, graphic pads, external disk drives, and the sound system with speakers.

How To Build a Computer Desk

Materials

  • 1″ thick wooden plank for the top of your desk
  • Plank for the keyboard tray
  • 1″ thick wooden plank
  • Wood glue
  • Sand paper and/or electric sander
  • Power drill and a screwdriver
  • Level
  • A pencil
  • A ruler
  • Wood stain
  • Wood varnish
  • Brushes for varnish
  • Screws
  • L brackets
  • Carriage bolts & locking nuts
  • Keyboard runners
  • Scrap wood for bracing the legs

Instructions for Building A Computer Desk

  1. Design your desk. Design a top, a good place for your keyboard and your legs. The key thing that usually differs is the actual size of the computer desk.
  2. Cut the wood planks to a size you need. Legs can be cut from a single plank if angled correctly. Ensure the keyboard desks is wide enough that it can reach both desk ends so the runners can fit properly.
  3. Sand all the wood pieces until they are smooth.
  4. Attach the desk legs to the desk top using the L brackets and the carriage bolts & locking nuts. It’s likely that they’ll wobble at this juncture. If they do, measure the spaces diagonally between table top and legs, and then use the scrap pieces of the wood in order to reach across the distance so as to anchor the desk legs much more firmly. Make sure you screw in all the the scrap pieces tightly.
  5. Use smaller planks of wood & attach your keyboard sliders. Screw the sliders in tightly. If you desire, screw in small pieces of the wood to back of your drawer so the keyboard can’t fall off. You can attach the otherside of sliders to your desk legs. Ensure you attach the drawers at a proper height for comfortable sitting at the table or desk.
  6. Using a clean damp rag, stain all the wood properly in a smooth circular motion.
  7. When it dries, apply your varnish with a clean paint brush or a sponge brush. 2 coats may be needed.
  8. Let it sit for about 24 hours in order to dry, once it has completely dried, you are done.

The Importance of Drinking Water

We take advantage of our access clean drinking water. Most of us go to the faucet and get a glass of clean fresh water several times a day and never give the first thought to the importance of water. We have become so accustomed to having it, we rarely think about what our lives would be like, if we had to struggle to find water that was even halfway safe to drink.

Sadly, in many other countries across the globe, this a problem that is all too real for it’s inhabitants. They are forced to drink water from rivers, streams, watering holes, and other water sources, that are more than likely diseased or polluted. They are forced, often times, to bathe and cook with this same dirty water. Imagine what it would be like if all the water that you had available, was water that you were sure was going to make you sick to drink. What would it feel like to have to give your children this water, knowing that it could endanger their health, or even their life. What a helpless situation this would be. It is heart wrenching too even think that there are people that deal with this every single day of their life.

It does not have to be this way for them. Here in America, and many other countries as well, we have the ability to help these people. There are organizations out there today, that specialize in getting clean water to the people who need it the most. Because of the fact, that most people don’t consider clean water, when thinking of all of the different charities, these organizations struggle. They struggle to accomplish enough, to make a real difference. There are millions of people in need , and only a few hundred who care to help.

You can help by taking charge and stepping up. It’s something we all can, and should do. Start by researching some of the different clean water organizations and seeing what you can do to help. The next step will be to raise awareness to the problem. Start speaking up about this problem in your community. The more people understand and can relate, the more people will be willing to do what they can to help.This is a problem that cannot be fixed overnight. It is going to take a commitment from everyone to even see a little difference. Nevertheless, the more we stand together, the bigger the change can be.

The Importance of Water Conservation

Everyday in America we waste billions of gallons of water with no regard to the fact that in many other people in countries across the globe, would fight to have the water that we waste. People here do not understand the importance of water conservation. If we had to drink the water that some people have to drink everyday, I think that we would all focus a little more on the water that we all, so regretfully, waste in our lives.

The conservation of water is really an global issue that we should all be a part of.  It is something that everyone can get behind no matter what your background is, where you’ve come from, or what your beliefs are.  It’s a simple fact that conservation water is incredibly important and there are human lives at stake.

We let clean water go down the drain when we rinse our dishes, brush our teeth, wash our hands, and shower or bathe.  We waste millions of gallons of water from swimming pools by not doing something as simple as putting a cover on them, to keep out the dirt.  We think our vehicles have to be washed and shiny.  Bathtubs have grown to hold an extraordinary amount of water for us to bathe in.  We flush the toilet constantly, whether it really needs it or not.  Our gardens and lawns are watered on a regular basis.

Just stop and think about how much we take our readily available, clean water for granted.  Think about what it would be like to cook with muddy water.  What would it be like to bathe in this same dirty water.  Now picture having to take your child to a water hole, that you know
is probably polluted, to get a drink of the only water that you can find.  For these reasons we all need to step up and make a change.  Not only do we need to be more appreciative of our clean water, we need to do all we can to get clean water to those who don’t have it.

Everyday people are dying, just because their water is full of disease and pollution.  They are also dying because they have no water at all.  What does it say about us, if we choose to turn away from these problems? If we do not change our wasteful ways, this very well could be where we are going to bein the coming years.  Conservation is definitely where we all need to start.

Open your eyes and pay attention to how much water you actually need, and how much water you just waste.  Stop letting the water run unnecessarily.  Take a short shower instead of a long bath. When you do have to let the water run a bit to get hot, catch the cold water and use it to water your plants.

It is okay if your car is a little dirty. These are just a tiny amount of the things that we can all do to conserve water. Look around you and you will see many more.

The Importance of Water in Your Diet

The importance of water is obvious; it’s just about everywhere, and it’s in every living thing. Water is an important part of your diet because it helps the body perform specific metabolic tasks that your body goes through every day.

First off, water is important for the regulation of body temperature. As you know, you’re a mammal. Mammals have to keep their temperature within a certain range.  For humans this is a range close to the optimal temperature of 98.6ºF.  If you get too hot, damage to the body’s most important system, the brain, occurs. Our bodies are able to keep cool by sweating.  Your body combats overheating by emitting sweat, which is mostly water, out of pores that cover almost our entire body.  If you are ever out in the heat and you stop sweating, this is a sure sign you are dehydrated.  Get out of the heat, and slowly drink water.  Slow is the key here, because if you take in to much water too quickly you may begin vomiting, which will only make the situation worse and could end in hospitalization.

Beyond just sweat, water is also a major component of bodily fluids that help the body function properly like blood and saliva.  Much of the fluid that gives the cells of our body their shape is water.  Without water in those cells, they would look like deflated balloons.  This is why it’s important to take in water by drinking at least 8-12 glasses of water a day, as well as intake via foods like fruits and vegetables which are full of water as well.

Water in your diet is also required to keep the skin looking and feeling healthy.  Without enough water, you risk having dry skin and chapped lips.  While there may be other factors involved with those conditions, drinking some water is the quickest and easiest treatment to try first.

Unlike camels, and other animals, we can not store water within our bodies.  We have to drink water every single day to stay in peak health.  We can store food in our fat, so we can go weeks without it, but without water you would not last more than a couple days.  This is why you have to understand the importance of water in your diet.

World Water Day Highlights the Importance of Clean Water

In 1992 the United Nations declared March 22nd World Water Day.  The first World Water day was observed in 1993.  Each year the UN uses World Water Day to call to attention a specific aspect of water conservation and the importance of water.  This year the theme is “Clean Water for a Healthy World.”

Access to clean water is necessary for health and hygiene.  As Americans, we tend to forget howlucky we are in having access to a plentiful supply of clean water.  Unfortunately, there are World Water Dayplaces in the world, including parts of the U.S., where people are not nearly so lucky.  Their search for clean water is a daily struggle, and there are days when they simply go without, or make due with substandard water.

Millions of people each year are affected by waterborne illnesses due to the lack of a clean water supply.  While you should be doing your part every day to help keep water clean, today is a day for taking your effort to the next level.  You could give to a water charity, or seek community events in your area that have organized today to clean up the shores of local waterways.  Even doing something as small as repairing a leaky faucet can save hundred of gallons of clean water a year.  If you’ve been putting off that repair job, today’s the day to get to it.

The Importance of Water

Every living organism needs water to survive. Plants need water to make food. All animals depend on plants for food either directly or indirectly. Therefore without water, all life forms will cease to exist. With the ever increasing population, water is becoming a scarce commodity. To worsen this situation, the few available sources of water for consumption by living organisms are being depleted at an alarming rate. Careless release of wastes into water bodies is also a major problem today. If nothing is done to reverse the situation, then it is predicted that it will be extremely hard to find clean water in future.

It is obvious that direct consumption by plants and animals is top among uses of water. Water has many other important functions such as washing, transportation, recreation, industrial applications, chemical uses, fire extinguishing among other uses. There is no other solvent that can be used to serve all these functions of water. This further stresses the importance of water in life. Without it life will be extremely difficult. Therefore everyone is charged with the responsibility of taking care of water because survival depends on it.

There is a lot that an individual can do to conserve this precious commodity. They all aim at reducing the amount of water wasted every single day. Examples of thing you can do to conserve water include:

  1. Turning off the tap when shaving, brushing teeth, doing dishes, washing the hands and so on. Why should you leave the tap running when you are not using the water? While you soap up, turn the tap off to prevent unnecessary wastage of water. Turn it on only when you want to rinse.
  2. Wait until you have full load before washing dishes or clothes. Do not wash just because you want to wear the same clothes tomorrow. Modern dishwasher can be used to save water compared to the use of hands. Check the water usage of a washing machine or dish washer before buying.
  3. Check for leaks. A lot of water can go into waste if your plumbing is leaking. Ensure that the whole plumbing system is watertight. Do not allow even a single drop of water to leak.
  4. As you wait for hot water, catch all the cold water that flows out first. This water can be useful in doing something else.
  5. Ensure that you take shorter showers. Challenge yourself to reduce your showering time. Turn off the shower when you soap up.
  6. Install a low flush toilet. There are many low flush toilets that work efficiently and use only a small amount of water. Upgrade to this kind of toilets to save on the amount of water consumed in each flushing.
  7. Water your lawn or garden at night. Watering during the day wastes a lot of water due to evaporation. Evaporation rate at night is slow, giving the water more time to soak in the soil.
  8. Cover the swimming pool when it is not in use. This helps to maintain the volume of water by cutting down the evaporation rates.
  9. Wash your car at the car wash. Car washes collect the water and reuse it to wash other cars. Cars washes may also use less water than the amount you use at home.
  10. Water you plants deeply but less frequently. This helps to encourage plants form deeper root. With the growth of deep roots, the plants will need water less frequently.

These are just few of the things that can be done to conserve water. More can be done to minimize the amount of water that goes into waste. Check how you use water and identify the activities which waste a lot of water and make changes. Don’t wait until there is real water scarcity to learn the importance of water.

Due to the threat of water scarcity, many organizations have been set up to conserve water. All these organizations have been made by people who understand the importance of water to the world and know that there will be no life without water. These organizations include Global Water, the Alliance for Water Efficiency, and  American Rivers among others. They all have the same goal, that is, to ensure that water is conserved and our waterways are kept as clean as possible so that every person and other organisms in the world today and in future can enjoy access to clean water.

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