[FUN] Dumbest lab experience?

Alan Smith alansmith at students.wisc.edu
Fri Dec 15 10:07:14 EST 2000


We had a graduate student who received a package containing silver nitrate.
For some random reason he thought that the packing vermiculite was the
silver nitrate.  He spent three days trying to dissolve the vermiculite (or
what ever that gray packing stuff is) before someone asked what he was
doing.  He still gets teased to this day.

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-methods at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk
[mailto:owner-methods at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk]On Behalf Of Adam
Sent: Thursday, December 14, 2000 5:55 PM
To: methods at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk
Subject: Re: [FUN] Dumbest lab experience?


In article <91aj7t$mtr$1 at nnrp1.deja.com>,
  Bonehammer <g5003408 at uts.univ.trieste.it> wrote:
>  Hiya.
> I know this is supposed to be a serious NG, but I just collected
enough
> funny stories to make a posting out of them.
> Electrophoresis experience # 1: we come to the lab and see this guy
> doing a silver stain, whining that he doesn't see any band. The yellow
> gasket was still around the glass plate. I still don't understand why
> he did not pull it off at least to do the silver staining. BTW he was
> using dextran blue as a dye for the loading buffer so that would have
> remained in the wells anyway and this was not a clue.
> Electrophoresis experience # 2: this is similar to the first. Another
> guy who had been in the lab for not a long time needed to load a large
> number of samples in the gel, but the larger "pouring cell" was busy.
> So he just takes the smaller one and turns it so that it would be
> perpendicular, not parallel to the tank, and makes a small device with
> some bulldog clips to hold still the comb while the gel sets. He was
> doing a neat job for a rookie and I wanted to congratulate with him. I
> go to the "electrophoresis den" and he's loading the samples, with the
> cell in the tank and the gel in the cell. The vertical walls of the
> cell would have prevented any current from circulating in the agarose.
> He was hilarious when I made him notice the thing.
> Centrifuge: have you ever thought what happens when you start a
Beckman
> centrifuge at 12000 rpm with the rotor screw cap loose? Now, thanks to
> a girl who luckily doesn't work here anymore, we know that. Looks like
> Thor had hammered the inside of the poor thing, and the lid of the
> centrifuge was barely holding its own.
> Reagents: another girl, probably the best brain we ever had in our
lab,
> came to us one day asking where do we stock "the 70% ethanol
solution".
> Sometimes even the good Homerus falls asleep, they say.
> Now, you'll say, and what about ME and my large mouth? Well, I never
> did anything memorable, but I'm feared for my habit of placing my
> samples in one block of the thermal cycler and starting the program on
> the other. Seems I can't help it...
> Any more contributions?
>
We had a woman who was new to the lab, and one day came around angrily
trying to find the person who stole her tubes from the centrifuge.  I
helped her look, and finally discovered that she had spun glass tubes
without the rubber adaptors.  They were still there all right, in a
very fine powder.

I had a teacher who once spun chloroform in a non-chloroform resistant
tube in the ultrafuge.  The whole ultrafuge ended up walking around the
room destroying things until it eventually unplugged itself.


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