Setting up a lab at home

Susan Jane Hogarth sjhogart
Mon Sep 4 11:58:06 EST 1995

ucklw08 at (Dr Alexander J Annala) wrote:
>>I'm considering setting up a basic "molecular biology" laboratory in my home.
>You would have to contend with a huge pile of bureaucratic paperwork, periodic
>reports, inspections, and very likely impromptu raids by the DEA and anti-drug
>lab police organizations who will be very unhapy with your home brew lab.  The
>usual suppliers of lab equipment and reagents will likely be less than willing
>to deal with you for liability and regulatory reasons.  All in all it will not
>be practical to set up any kind of molecular biology operation at home.  It is
>also very likely you will be violating zoning regulations and / or conditions,
>covenants, and restrictions of your housing development.
>In short, it would be very difficult, expensive, and risky to pursue home lab.
Gee, thanks for the encouragement :-)

I've had a decent number of replies to this "floater", and have found much
encouragement and some skepticism. I've gotten a lot of good advice/caveats
about waste disposal, gov't regulations, radioactivity, and other issues. It
has (pleasantly) surprised me to see that some (many) people can still get
excited about truly "independent" research. I had been afraid that _all_ the
replies would be of the nature of this one (sorry to pick on you...). Perhaps
what this world needs is less "it can't be done" and more "go ahead and try -
succeed, even!" But I don't mean to be unfair; I think that gov't regulations
and paperwork must be more crushing in Britain than in the US (for the present,
at least...).

Anyway, I wanted to thank everyone who responded to my idea and offer
encouragement to the ones who have considered the same sort of thing, or who
are already doing work at home. Thanks again.

By the way, if the DEA comes 'round, I'll just sic my dog on 'em; and as for
the neighbors, I plan to avoid the type of Yuppie housing with restrictive
covenants, and if "John Bull" can have his woodworking shop, surely "Sue Yank"
can have her home-lab. 

But thanks for the pessimism - I find it stimulating.
Susan Jane Hogarth

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