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Tell Us Your Favorite Lab Stories

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by kltmd, Jun 29, 2001.

  1. kltmd

    kltmd Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 11, 2001
    We have all spent so many hours in the lab, both class-related and research-related, that I am sure that there are plenty of funny stories to share. I would love to hear some of them!

    Here is one of mine: My freshman year we dissected dogfish sharks in General Zoology. They just might be the most disgustingly smelly things to ever be dissected (well, maybe second to a rotting animal). Some guys in our class took the shark spleen back with them and decided to share it with the others on their hall. They pinned it to their R.A.s bulletin board for all to enjoy! Their hall smelled fishy for weeks. :D
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  3. Popoy

    Popoy SDN Super Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    How about this one?!.... I cleaned up the cold room with some cleaning chemicals cause the area looked really messed up.... the fumes reacted with some of the nasty stuff in their overnight.... Something blew and the "HAZMAT" team came in to save the lab.... The best part is that I didn't have to go to work that day :D
  4. scootad.

    scootad. Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 1, 2001
    You guys need to get out more. :)
  5. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned Banned

    Nov 5, 1999
    Baltimore, Maryland
    One summer I was working at the NMR research center at the NIH. There's usually a large sign on the door to the magnet chamber that says something to the effect of "THE MAGNET IS ON" in large bold letters.

    However, for some reason on this particular day, it wasn't up there. I was going in there to talk to my PI about some computer simulations I had been working on.

    Well, I got about 3 feet into the door when I started feeling a very strong pulling force on me. Of course I still had my belt on. Luckily I was able to quickly sidestep out of there before I was sucked into the magnet bore!
  6. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist 10+ Year Member

    Jan 29, 2001
    Here is the best: This summer I was doing some pretty productive research at UT-Houston when this tropical storm came through and flooded the basements and cut off all of the electricity. The entire building was shut down for a month, nearly all of the animals were lost and anything that was kept in the freezer (all of our materials) thawed and was lost. I only list it as my favorite because this was the first time I have done research. Maybe it is a sign I should not do MD/PhD?
  7. Legend

    Legend Super Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 29, 2001
    I just froze a melted chocolate bar (Snickers) with liquid nitrogen. It split into three rock hard pieces. Since there were three people in the lab, each person enjoyed a piece.

    "Note: Please don't try it without a proper knowledge of use"
  8. Starflyr

    Starflyr Manic Faerie 10+ Year Member

    Apr 11, 2000
    Dickinson, Tx
    Socialist - you got your stuff destroyed by Allison?? Im sorry, I saw the labs etc on the houston news channel. LOL Maybe you should move to Galveston and do research here at UTMB - we got hit, but no damage. Good luck getting it up and running again!

  9. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jun 24, 2001
    wow, after many years in lab it's hard to think of a story.. but one that stands out is this one lab tech we had that was so inept... As was typical of her, she had a 96-well plate ready for hot (i.e. radioactive) PCR and came up to me with the shield in front of her (but not me) and wanted to ask me a question. She's standing there all nice and protected with 0.1 millicurie of P-32 less than a foot from my face! Needless to say, she left our lab to go to med school...

  10. Starflyr

    Starflyr Manic Faerie 10+ Year Member

    Apr 11, 2000
    Dickinson, Tx
    funny lab story (kinda):

    THere was a DO/PhD student in our lab who had gone to UCSF to do part of his research. Our lab was in the process of getting radiation certified (oh, did I mention that we worked for the head of the dept??) Anyways, it wasnt yet (so we werent sposed to be doing anything involving radiation), but the rest of us had taken the training. He comes back from SF and continues his research. He hadnt taken the training course yet, but had to do an experiment with P-32. I offered to help and he told me that he had been certified in SF and that he knew what he was doing. Then he contaminated the micro centrifuge and about half of the rest of the lab. THEN he tried to cover it up. Im not sure if that was successful, by the time our boss found out, I was back at college.
  11. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist 10+ Year Member

    Jan 29, 2001
    Actually, I was in Galveston for the first two weeks (while I was displaced from my apartment in Houston). No research, just taking in the sun :cool: and the annoying Galveston sea film that coats your car every morning. :rolleyes:
  12. Seal

    Seal Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 1, 2001
    If only I had listened to those voices and heeded the signs...

    I was working in a lab that was in this rut--we always ran across the same technical problem, and were just stuck at that same point for a couple of months. Our protein just seemed incapable of binding the substrate, and after a couple of months of trials my PI and I were ready to sink the ship. One Sunday night, however, just before our grant renewal period ran out, I came in and got the experiment to work. Just as my partner and I were calling our PI and celebrating, we heard a loud BOOM and saw out our lab window that half of our building was enguled in flames :eek: ! We quickly ran out the building, and a minute later saw the entire top floors of our building burn down.

    Needless to say, our protein was lost and our research suspended for almost a year. I should have seen that as an omen, shouldn't I!?! Well, I didn't. I ended up completing the project and wrote my thesis on it. On the day of my thesis defense last month, I was in the room getting my slides ready... and I heard another boom as fire sirens went off :eek: :eek:. Apparently, there was a bomb threat, and the bomb squad evacuated everybody. By the time they cleared the area, the members of my committee had all gone home and we had to resume the day after.

    You see, I really wasn't meant to do research after all, was I... :confused: :rolleyes:
  13. Homunculus

    Homunculus SDN Caveman Administrator Moderator Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jul 24, 2000
    we were in organic lab, which involved boiling some water. . . no big deal, right? well, our professor came in and noticed one groups beaker on fire... he asked them what they had in it, and they answered "water"...

    as for an embarrasing story, during organic II we were identifying unknowns using the NMR. I put my sample in and ran it, then put in the command to eject the sample. i went to the NMR and it wasn't there. so, being the bright sophomore i was, i noticed an "eject" button on the side of NMR. i pushed it, expecting my sample to come floating up to the top of the sample tube... instead, i heard a sickening shattering sound and a clunk. yup, i broke my sample inside the sample tube. worse than that, i had to go tell the professor i did it :eek:

    take it easy

  14. imtiaz

    imtiaz i cant translate stupid Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jul 26, 2000
    New York, NY
    Don't worry. This happens more often than you think. Even some graduate students have been known to do things like this. I don't use the NMR much, but we have this NASA spacestation looking Bruker at school that's stumped me a couple times.

  15. Smoke This

    Smoke This Sweet cuppin' cakes! 10+ Year Member

    Yeah, we've got a few Bruker NMR machines at my university as well. Anyway, we had a postdoc here (not a student, mind you, but a postdoc) who got a little careless when he was loading a sample into the machine. He dropped in the depth gauge for the sample instead of the sample itself, which of course has a metal tip on the bottom. The magnet sucked it in as you would expect, and it nailed the $10,000 phosphorus NMR probe! Yikes! :eek: Fortunately, there was no harm done.

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