Pacifica (autumnwinds) wrote,

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Well I can now boast that I've had my first-ever lab accident.


It started because the Cenrtivap machine was refusing to work, and I had 16 tubes of DNA suspended in ethanol that needed to dry. This is the very LAST STEP before sequencing. My lab mate suggested putting them in the regular centrifuge (tops open, which is not unusual) for a minute and then just letting them air dry instead.

I cannot emphasize enough that this was a random and total fluke, and could happen to anyone (and has, in our lab, once before), but the plastic lid covering my specimens in the centrifuge (not the heavy metal lid that closes the whole apparatus) completely EXPLODED about 20 seconds into the spin. There was an earsplitting BANG that echoed down the hall, and when I opened it up, the lid had shattered into a thousand tiny splinters. They were stuck in the gears, blown out the back vents, and covering the motherboard inside (we took it all apart to clean it out). The lid must have gotten stuck somehow and just sheared.

But because my sample tubes were open, they're ruined. Several have plastic chips inside, several had their tops sheared off, and all have sandy black crud in them.

These samples are all I have been working on today and yesterday, so now I have absolutely nothing to show for my lab time here in Moscow this week. Why did I even stay here? Why didn't I just stay home? Then I would have been relaxing and having fun with my friends. Now I'm here at the end of the week, all by myself, with residual food poisoning and a handful of crud-filled test tubes.

This is the worst spring break ever.

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