[FUN] Dumbest lab experience?

Nick Theodorakis nicholas_theodorakis at urmc.rochester.edu
Fri Dec 15 10:03:41 EST 2000

In article <91c7t4$dls$1 at slb1.atl.mindspring.net>,
  "Alistair Harrison" <nufc at mindspring.com> wrote:
> "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.

Well, it would work, it's just a huge waste of $$. An undergrad in the
lab I did my PhD work in did the same thing.

> 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.

A story that I heard many years ago from a radiation safety officer
during his talk was that once upon a time at a major laboratory that also
runs summer courses, a visiting researcher at one course did a protein
iodination in a TC hood and labelled the thyroid of everyone in the room.
I don't know if it's true or just a story to impress the students.


> 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.

Another lab in the institution I did my PhD work, that made a lot of
hybridimas, almost considered it a rite of passage to set your mice on


Nick Theodorakis
nicholas_theodorakis at urmc.rochester.edu

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