All research areas, be it physics or chemistry or biology, will require at some point in time a stirrer and or a hot plate or a stirrer hot plate combo. These things are quite expensive even when they are barebones devices. If you want one that has PID temperature control, than tack on an extra order of magnitude to the cost of the barebones device if it is sourced from a scientific supply company.
DIYBio has become a big thing lately. Especially with builds like the Pearl Gel Box
which literally costs a fraction of what a "scientific" labeled unit would cost. Having access to cheap and easily assembled devices to do garage science really does enhance the whole science community in my opinion. One reason why I think garage science is a good thing is that most people in the hacker space that do garage science like to communicate about what they have done, hence the need for a site like Instructables. Open communication is crucial for science to progress as I am a firm believer that progress is dictated by communication. And, if progress is to succeed, communication must be open. So, thanks to all those that participate in tinkering and are willing to share those endeavors. Scientists could learn something from the community at Instructables.
This build is cheap, easy and voids lots of warranties. With that said, do be careful with this build.The video of this in action is not embedding properly so a link to it is here.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKWimlx2_44Update 02-02-2011:
Attempting to embed the video again. If you can't see it, use the link above.