Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I am a little afraid that the experiments that I’ve been doing in lab lately will turn me in to the little guy pictured above. Not because we do crazy gene mutation in the lab (we don’t) or because I was bitten by a radioactive crab (I wasn’t), it’s because in the past two days I have I pipetted approximately 3637 times. That number isn’t a hyperbole, it’s an actual engineering estimate with an error of plus or minus 8. The experiment I started yesterday has 35 conditions that I deposit in quadruplicate on 5 different 384 well plates followed by seeding cells into each well of each condition, add in the initial reagent dilutions to total of pipetting approximately 1516 times, then today I pipette in to each well of each plate 3 times in order to first induce a signaling pathway and then to image the response, add in a few extra uses of the pipette to dilute the imaging substrates to reach a total of 2121. And BAM you get 3637 times. Luckily, I can use the repeat pipettor 2800 of those times since I am delivering the same thing to each well but since using the normal pipette you have to push the button two times, once to suck up the solution and once to expel, that means that I in the past 2 days I have pushed a pipette button a total of 4474 times. Anyway, I’m going to be repeating similar experiments for a good long time in the foreseeable future and therefore I will either get carpal tunnel or have a really buff right arm.