While it always gives an editor a warm feeling to publish the newest groundbreaking protocol from the bleeding-edge of science, it often takes a good amount of time for these types of methods to trickle into mainstream use. Many labs don’t have access to the specialized equipment or reagents called for, and sometimes it takes a lot of thought to realize how a completely new assay can be applied to one’s own research. Keeping that in mind, it’s not surprising to see that on CSH Protocols, our methods that see the highest use from our readers are usually the most basic ones, the absolute classics common across all labs. As an example, Ethanol Precipitation of DNA is consistently on our list of most read articles every month.

Because readers are seeking out these basic methods, we’re putting special emphasis on getting more into our collection, and May’s issue has some good additions. Dany Adams contributes instructions for Making Solutions from Dry Chemicals and Hydrated Compounds, as well as Making and Diluting Stock Solutions. You can’t get any more basic than that. These articles come from Dany’s tremendously useful book, Lab Math and are great examples of why it’s a book you should hand to every new student as they enter the lab (along with At The Bench, our other primer for survival in the laboratory).

May also brings a nice set of histology protocols, again covering the basics, including Fixation and Permeabilization, Paraffin Embedding, Decalcifying, Preparing Slides and Coverslips and Sectioning. A protocol for Hematoxylin and Eosin Staining, one of the most common histological stains used is also available.

Expect more of these basic methods in future issues but don’t worry, we’re scouting along the bleeding edge as well.