The Pawson Laboratory Reagent and Location Tracker is designed to provide support to wet lab scientists. At its core, the system tracks all reagents within the laboratory - the type of reagent, the specific properties of that reagent (including sequences), all isolates and preps of the reagent, and where the preps of the reagents are in the laboratory. Later planned versions of this system will include experimental planning to help set up experiments, experimental tracking and workflow, and data analysis.
The system is subdivided into two major sections: Reagent Tracker and Location Tracker.
This module is used to track various types of reagents available in the laboratory.
Currently tracks the following types of reagents:
- Self-propagating circular DNA that is comprised of a backbone (parent vector) and may contain an insert.
- Linear piece of DNA formed either by PCR, oligo hybridization, or restriction digestion of a parent vector. The purpose of most inserts is to be subcloned into a vector for propagation and downstream applications. The insert itself is often stored as an intermediate step in the cloning pathway. Inserts can also be siRNAs.
- Single stranded DNA usually less than 100 nucleotides that are used as PCR primers, sequencing primers, or hybridized to form an insert.
- Cell lines
- Immortalized cells that are propagated within the laboratory. The cell lines are classified as either parent cell lines or stable cell lines, where one or more vectors have been stably expressed within the cell line.
This module is used to track the locations and properties of all preps of reagents in the laboratory
Each reagent is associated with an isolate (e.g. when cloning vectors or cell lines – different colony picks) and a prep (a physical preparation of a particular isolate that is stored). For each reagent, a certain isolate is selected for downstream applications and is marked as the selected isolate. If a particular reagent does not need isolates (currently oligos), then it is marked as isolate inactive.
To make a new container - a user chooses a container size and a container group (e.g. Vector 96 well plate)
It is in the location tracker that we track isolates and preps of various reagents and designate which isolate is active. We also flag certain preps that should not be used.