[FUN] Dumbest lab experience?

Alistair Harrison nufc at mindspring.com
Thu Dec 14 23:47:14 EST 2000

"Alex Brands" <abbrands at artsci.wustl.edu> wrote in message
news:Pine.SOL.3.96.1001214135127.21860A-100000 at ascc.artsci.wustl.edu...

> Using agar instead of agarose for a DNA gel.  It works OK, the bands
> aren't as sharp, and for some reason, one of the dyes will not leave the
> well.

We had the opposite problem, a student who used agarose to make a batch of
LB plates. We didn't tell our PI as the expense was rather extreme.

Also we had a student who was doing his phenol/chloroform extractions in a
tissue culture hood and thus was getting fumes driven at him quite
effeciently. He also misread a polyacrylamide gel preparation sheet and
added 35ml of TEMED instead of 35ul. It stank and was stunningly exothermic.

Personally, while doing my PhD I dropped a measuring cylinder of chromic
acid on the floor and reflexively threw a wad of paper towels down on it.
They started smoking near instantly and became very charred.
Also I was preparing to take a spleen out of a mouse to start isolating
monoclonals. I'd doused the skin with ethanol and flamed my dissecting
instruments. In the process a splash a ethanol on my glove ignited which
distracted me enough so I didn't notice that my (dead) mouse had caught
fire. Thankfully I managed to put it out before too much damage could occur
and I successfully isolated the spleen.


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