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Crusades for saving Grant Money?

Megan Brown mbrown at fred
Thu Jun 19 16:52:38 EST 1997

Julia Frugoli (JFRUGOLI at BIO.TAMU.EDU) wrote:

: I know where I draw the line-I won't put names on the story, but a 
: friend of mine was picking colonies with toothpicks in a 
: don't-have-a-real-grant-yet lab when the PI suggested that if she used 
: them carefully, she could turn the toothpicks over and get 2 uses from 1 
: pick.  My friend pointed out the price of toothpicks, and that if things 
: were that bad, she'd get her own toothpicks!

When I was a grad student working in a yeast genetics lab, I used the same
toothpicks hundreds, if not thousands, of times over again. The purpose
wasn't to save money, although that was a side benefit. The "used"
toothpicks are often superior for picking colonies, because they get a
nice thick rounded "pad" on their ends, not all sharp like fresh
toothpicks. Of course, the toothpicks were autoclaved in between uses.
Just about everyone in the lab operated the same way, so the above
suggestion is not so off-the-wall.

On the saving money idea, in one lab I worked in, money was really tight,
so plastic pipetman tips had to be washed and reused. That was hell! I
always worried about contamination and on the sly, I often threw my used
tips out.


Megan Brown
mbrown at fred.fhcrc.org
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Seattle, Washington

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