static static

Alan C. Christensen, Ph.D. achristensen at CRCVMS.UNL.EDU
Thu Oct 9 10:15:52 EST 1997

>Does anyone have suggestions on how to go about minimizing static
>electricity when working with flies? I'm using plastic vials and both
>cotton and foam plugs (the latter being noticably worse for static) and a
>typical CO2 pad surfaced with porous plastic. My problem, recognizable to
>most everyone reading this, I suspect, is that static will sporadically
>fling anesthetized flies to the four corners of the pad and beyond, and
>it's driving me nuts. Any advice on how to defeat (or at least circumvent)
>Mother Nature in this struggle?

It's very simple.  Buy an antistatic wand, used for phonograph records.
They are basically weak alpha emitters.  Pass it over the flies, and/or the
vials, and no more static cling.  The other thing that helps is to humidify
the CO2 by bubbling it through a side-arm flask of water.  Just use an air
stone (available in any pet store that has aquarium supplies) in the flask.

* Alan C. Christensen, Ph.D.          "...there are those rare  *
* School of Biological Sciences        characters who study the *
* University of Nebraska               unknown product of an    *
* Lincoln, NE 68588-0118               unknown gene.  These we  *
* Phone 402-472-0681                   call lunatics."          *
* FAX 402-472-2083                            -Sidney Brenner   *

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