Monday, October 01, 2007

Mike is a demonstrator

Tomorrow I'll be looking after second year undergraduates in their molecular biology practicals. Unexperienced students have the tendency to make all kind of embarrassing, yet amusing, mistakes, such as using piston stroke pipettes without tips [1], or trying to punch DNA solutions - still in their plastic vials - into the wells of an agarose gel whilst wondering why they float in the buffer.

Let's see what the students in my designated supervision area have in peto.

[1] Proudly stating that they put «the little blue hat» back on after usage.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Ψ*Ψ said...

The "little blue hat" line cracks me up.
Sometimes I miss Eppendorfs. Sigh.

11:31 pm  
Anonymous albert said...

Once I forgot to add ethidium bromide to the melt, agarose gel...

11:58 am  
Blogger Mike said...

Everyone makes some mistake. I mixed up antibiotic resistancies and it took me a couple of weeks to figure out that I've selected for my original template.

This week wasn't that bad, although I drew the sucker card and had the "biomedical scientists" (whatever that means). Most students were using the Gilsons in a somewhat appropriate ways. However, pipetting looks like a stabbing attack when one student holds the Gilson and the other the vial.

When it came to the ligation step they had to add 1µl of ligase from a vial containing 20µl. After the first group all the ligase was gone - they wouldn't believe that one microlitre is only a tiny droplet and pushed past the first resistance of the piston-stroke pipette... despite my little demonstration how to use it and what volumes to expect.

Oh well, how do you say? "Es ist noch kein Meister vom Himmel gefallen" - no one is born a master.

8:44 am  
Anonymous Fischer said...

*or trying to punch DNA solutions - still in their plastic vials - into the wells of an agarose gel whilst wondering why they float in the buffer *

My imagination is failing me here... What did they do? Push the plastc vials into the gel?

10:07 am  
Blogger Mike said...

Indeed. Quite creative approach, isn't it?

10:41 am  
Anonymous Fischer said...

Memorable.

6:43 pm  

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