Hack a Taq

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Now that there are several DIY PCR machines available, the next challenge was to find a reasonable source for Taq polymerase. Also, as a side-project for the BIO-DESIGN for the REAL WORLD at EPFL, we wanted to see if we can make the "wet" part of DIY PCR more accessible, so that PCR could be used as a coliform bacteria detection method from water samples.
We decided that having a workshop in a new space will be a happy confluence of several items on the to-do list, and document the process on biodesign.cc


1. test the Wild OpenPCR machine (gaudilabs)
2. hack the Taq isolation protocol from Open Biotechnology, and see if we can make and purify the enzyme with alternative reagents from the consumable reagents sold there (hackteria open source bioart...)
3. test out some PCR primers to detect E. coli (biodesign for the real world)

Techniques Learned

  • PCR
  • agarose gel analysis of PCR products
  • DNA extraction from E. coli
  • Taq protein extraction

Proposed Schedule

5 April - Optional pre-workshop day at EPFL
12:15pm (EPFL SV3.615) meet thé students of BIO-DESIGN for thé REAL WORLD