Confessions of a supervisor

Humorous stories from the lab. What were your biggest mistakes that you can now laugh about? (Keep it clean!!)

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Confessions of a supervisor

Postby Geneweaver » Nov 23 2005 2:44 pm

A supervisor once told me that when he started in the lab (many, many years ago) he was told to flame everything to ensure that his aseptic technique was upto scratch. During his first week he flamed his ethanol bottle......apparently is was quite spectacular......
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Postby leekaming » Nov 23 2005 6:06 pm

did the ethanol bottle become a fire ball?
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Postby demi » Nov 30 2005 3:49 pm

same
Last edited by demi on Dec 19 2006 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby lhcii » Dec 06 2005 5:27 am

rajan wrote:same thing happended to me too. Tissue culture work, I was told to flame things for aseptic condition. so I sprayed some ethanol in my hand and flamed my hand.

heh,remind me of a kind of Chinese food...what's that? :roll:
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Postby mchlbrmn » Dec 18 2005 5:32 am

What kind of Chinese food -or were you asking us?

The hand flaming reminds me of a new technician who started in my lab once. He thought you were supposed to have the UV light on while working in the hood... That was years ago. I hope his supervisor noticed pretty quickly, of I wonder what his hands look like now?
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Postby leekaming » Dec 28 2005 6:28 pm

The Chinese food may be 'Crispy small pig'. The whole pig was covered with a layer of Chinese traditional flavouring. The whole pig was burnt under fire until the skin become crispy.
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Postby wind77 » Dec 29 2005 10:01 am

the 1st thing when attachment students came working under me, i'd told them never never on the UV when I was around. he can do so when he is alone, and when all my reagents and enzymes were in the refridgerator...
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Postby Minnie Mouse » Jan 04 2006 4:00 am

lhcii wrote:
rajan wrote:same thing happended to me too. Tissue culture work, I was told to flame things for aseptic condition. so I sprayed some ethanol in my hand and flamed my hand.

heh,remind me of a kind of Chinese food...what's that? :roll:


Flame grill Beef. :D
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Postby Dr D » Apr 25 2006 3:16 pm

rajan wrote:same thing happended to me too. Tissue culture work, I was told to flame things for aseptic condition. so I sprayed some ethanol in my hand and flamed my hand.


You really did that :shock: wow...what happened then? :o
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Re: Confessions of a supervisor

Postby ToxicMicrobe » May 02 2008 7:47 am

Geneweaver wrote:A supervisor once told me that when he started in the lab (many, many years ago) he was told to flame everything to ensure that his aseptic technique was upto scratch. During his first week he flamed his ethanol bottle......apparently is was quite spectacular......


:lol: this reminds me of an incident in my microbiology lab this week during which my lab partner dipped his plate spreader in ethanol, flamed it, then stuck it back in the beaker of ethanol, which I was standing next to, while still flaming. I am lucky to still have hair left.
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Re: Confessions of a supervisor

Postby MT Scientist » Oct 28 2008 3:24 pm

ToxicMicrobe wrote: :lol: this reminds me of an incident in my microbiology lab this week during which my lab partner dipped his plate spreader in ethanol, flamed it, then stuck it back in the beaker of ethanol, which I was standing next to, while still flaming. I am lucky to still have hair left.


Something similar happened in a lab I was in years ago. Once the flames were kindled, the person panicked and dumped the contents into the lab bench sink, after which there were flames coming out of all the drains on that particular bench....
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Re: Confessions of a supervisor

Postby relaxin » Jul 19 2012 7:13 pm

My mistake had nothing to do with flame. Back in the good old days, we had to prepare our own restriction enzyme buffers (the companies did not supply the buffers with their enzmes back then). There were only three buffers: low salt, medium salt and high salt buffers according to Maniatis et al. The high salt buffer had low concentration of Tris HCl, so after it was frozen and thawed, the pH of the buffer changed. And this gave a star effect of EcoRI. When my first graduate student showed me the picture of her first EcoRI digestion of plasmid DNA, I could tell her exactly the problem. She thought I was very smart.

Well, we, the supervisor, are not really smarter. We made the same mistake before. But we learnt from our experience. :D
Retired academic researcher. Mention of a specific product does not imply my endorsement of the product. No conflict of interest or guarantee to work on the advice given. Do as I say, not as I do. Not liable to the loss of your valuable samples.
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