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Confess your lab sins

Posted by , on 31 July 2013

Remember the hashtag #overlyhonestmethods that was trending on Twitter a few months ago? Well, the new science hashtag to follow is #sciconfessions : a collection of the lab sins that you never told anyone (and definitely not to your Health & Safety officer!).

We storified our favourites, but why don’t join the discussion on Twitter and add your own confession? If you are not a Twitter user, why not leave a comment below and let us know your lab confession?


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Categories: Lab Life, News

7 thoughts on “Confess your lab sins”

  1. I must confess that at one of the universities where I have worked over the years (I won’t say which!) the lab next door kept the champagne bottles in the cold room in preparation for viva celebrations! I would say this is a fairly common lab sin?

  2. As for an additional confession: during the first weeks of my PhD I had to make a 0.9% agarose gel to run some PCR products. I totally miscalculated the amounts and ended up with one very thick 9% gel. I kept it my bench for weeks and it dried out into a very, very hard piece of agar that I still have! A reminder to do the maths properly next time!

  3. I loaded my samples on an agarose gel and ran the gel in the wrong direction.. lost my sample.. but the gel was ready for use again :)

    Have you tried the vortex race??? It is fun!!

    1. What’s the vortex race? Sounds fun!

      On other confession topics- I once had a centrifuge with all my samples jumping along a bench. When I opened it there was smoke everywhere- tiny bits of plastic as the rotor had basically been moving upwards against the lid! Not my fault I promise, the technician had not attached the rotor properly! And thankfully it was a bench centrifuge!

  4. When I was a little undergrad working on my bachelor thesis, I built a dry ice bomb out of an 2 ml Eppi and placeed it under a centrifuge. I left the lab to get some stuff and when I came back it had already exploded. But the explosion had not as expected simply removed the lid from the tube – it went completely into shreds and almost hit an colleague. I keep on building one from time to time (it’s too much fun), but then under more controlled conditions…

    1. Alarmingly, anonymous is not the first person I’ve heard that has investigated his own sperm in the lab. I’m interested to know how widespread this phenomenon is. Anyone else care to ‘fess up?


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