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Autoclaves

John Gentile yjgent at cox.net
Sat May 11 22:04:55 EST 2002


Media making was always a good memory for me - it was the only time I could
not be interupted and the supervisor had to answer the phone and the stats.
The lab was really small so I had to use the same bench space for media that
I used for stool occult bloods (with our own home made Guiac) and for O&P's.
I never had a problem with contamination!
There were 2 important lessons I learned from that time - NEVER swirl a
flask of media fresh from the autoclave! and an alcohol fire is invisible!
This goes along with the fact that hot glass looks like cold glass!

-- 
John Gentile                            President,  Rhode Island Apple Group
yjgent at cox.net                      RIAG Web page:  www.wbwip.com/riag/
"I never make mistakes, I only have unexpected learning opportunities!"



> From: Tompsonhill <onthe at eastcoast.net>
> Organization: Private
> Newsgroups: bionet.microbiology,sci.bio.microbiology
> Date: Wed, 08 May 2002 16:53:37 -0500
> Subject: Re: Autoclaves
> 
> I've been a microbiologist since 1964, and a  newsgroup lurker since
> the IBM 286.
> I've posted with a variety of aliases but that is another story.
> 
> This thread is one of the best.
> The writers conclusion "one has to be utterly insane to work in microbiology,"
> is  understatement.
> 
> I should have learned that 35 years ago when a hot flask fresh from the
> autoclave
> touched the cold lab bench, with the somewhat predictable result that the
> hide was burned off my ankles.
> 
> Oh yes.  Safety officers should be kept as far away as the Czar.
> 
> lamb wrote:
> 
>> Graham Shepherd wrote:
>> 
>>> Last time I worked in  hospital lab they were still in common use - this was
>>> a medical school/hospital lab that made most of its media from powder -
>>> nutrient broth, tryptone soya broth, sugars, urea broth - all in tubes,
>>> mostly with cotton wool (including some pretty coloured ones). That was 15
>>> years ago in the UK. I can't imagine that it's changed that much - there
>>> isn't the money for all this robotic stuff (cf the salaries thread).
>> 
>> I think it went out of use in Holland at least 25 years ago. The selfmade
>> cotton
>> plugs (mind you, there was a machine to do the plugging, but men could do it
>> faster and better) were first replaced by a kind of pressed paper cork-like
>> stopper, abslutely useless, they kept falling of. Then we had metal caps, and
>> when disposable tubes were intriduced the plastic caps came.
>> 
>>> I read
>>> somewhere that it used to be a recommended technique to flame the mouth of
>>> the tube with the bung still in, which must have led to lots of little
>>> fires...it would have been a pretty old book....
>> 
>> Yes - most people take the tube in the left hand, pick up the plug with the
>> right hand, bring the left hand to the flame - show this to the new tech ,
>> tell
>> him, her, to do it the same way, and then she, he turns out to be left-handed
>> and clumsy like hell ..... fire
>> 
>>> Another example - doing ZN stains - our lab used a torch made of cotton wool
>>> with a twisted wire handle, dipped in methanol. Once you finished heating
>>> the slides, you extinguish the torch and put it in the rubbish bin. Only we
>>> didn't have bins, we had paper bags that fit into metal frames that slide
>>> out from under the bench.  And if your torch isn't quite out when it goes in
>>> the bag....
>> 
>> We have metal bins - but using a cold stain none the less
>> 
>> Pilot flames of bunsenburners. poor alcohol over the table, spread with paer,
>> knock the burner over .. whooooosh again.
>> Now we have burners with a spark element, triggered by a foot-pedal - now
>> people
>> forget to close the gas taps before leaving. Forget about the old rubber
>> rotting
>> .......
>> 
>>> Two of the things I retain from my years in the lab - fireproof fingers and
>>> the deep understanding that hot glassware looks EXACTLY like cold glassware.
>> 
>> It confirms my conviction that one has to be utterly insane to work in
>> microbiology.
>> 
>> Loes
> 




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