In my previous incarnation as a Technical Services Scientist, I spent a lot of time on www.promega.com, finding information to answer questions and sending links to customers. Much of the information I needed could be found on www.promega.com/techserv, our Technical Resources site. From the Restriction Enzyme Resource Guide to the citations database, an array of Tools and listing of all our vectors, current and discontinued, this Web site contains a wealth of information that has only expanded in the time since I left TechServ to join the Scientific Communications department. I wanted to highlight a few of the resources I found myself referring to repeatedly as well as discussing some of the newest resources available.
Whether I was looking for compatible ends, the exact restriction site (and which overhang it had) or if two restriction enzymes could be used in the same digestion buffer, the Restriction Enzyme Resource was available with all that information and more. During my time in TechServ, I visited this site at least once a day and still have occasion to consult it to answer a question I have when editing technical documents. While the Compatible Buffers is most often visited, there is also good general information on restriction enzymes including that bane of all digestions: star activity.
There are always those calculations that need to be performed everyday. Usually, I turned to our BioMath Calculators to help me when, for example, a customer would ask about his protein from a 1.2kb insert. (Answer: He should see a 44kDa protein.) If you are looking for a check of your dilution numbers, the molarity of your solution, converting O.D.260 to nucleic acid concentration and molar ratio of insert to vector, the BioMath Calculators can help. If you have an iPhone™ or an iPod® touch, you can download the Promega App from the Apple® App Store to access these calculators for bench top use.
I am visual learner so I have been thrilled with all the animations and videos present on our Multimedia web page. If you would like to understand how our products or technology works, this is the place to visit. Animations illustrate the assay principles or show the process by which the system works while the videos actually show the product being used. When I was in TechServ, we only had a few animations; now there are over 30. Our customers seem to like the Multimedia site as each month there are more visitors our various animations and videos than the month before. My favorite animation is the ProteaseMAX™ Surfactant, Trypsin Enhancer, while the Introduction to PCR is one of the most popular animations. I like that our video protocol for the PureYield™ Plasmid Miniprep System can be downloaded on your iPod® or iPhone™, but I also appreciate seeing how the HaloLink™ Protein Array System works.
One of the newest resources available in our Technical Resources section is the Education Resources site. Here you can find a lecture on the chemistry of inheritance, genomic DNA isolation and several other topics with accompanying laboratory units. Whether you are a new instructor or a veteran looking to add to your current lecture series, the lecture and laboratory units are free for you to use. Not only are new units added each year but there is also information on grant writing and even profiles of people educated in science who found alternative career paths.
In addition, we have searchable databases for FAQs and citations for help with many product-specific concerns. Explore the Technical Resources site, and use the wide array of information and tools to help make life in the lab (and the classroom) a bit easier.