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Lab Safety

10 Common PPE Sins

Laboratories brim with nasty chemicals and bugs. PPE protects you from them, but only if you don’t commit any of these PPE sins!

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Guard Yourself with Our Great Lab Glove Selection Guide

Gloves protect your skin from the numerous hazards lurking in labs. To help you stay safe, we’ll review the many lab glove types, then give you some handy tips on double-gloving, working with liquid nitrogen, coping with latex allergies, and how to best follow glove etiquette.

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How to Handle Strong Acids in the Lab

Acids are common and essential chemicals in any research laboratory. In this article, you’ll get advice on how to handle strong acids safely to give you the confidence to routinely prepare, handle, and dispose of them in the lab.

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Lab Aches and How to Avoid Them

Pipetting all day? Scrolling and scrolling through Excel columns trying to make sense of your data? Spending hours at the microscope because your boss wants Nature-worthy pictures? It’s not uncommon that performing lab work forces you into unhealthy postures, and after a day at work your spine begs for mercy. How Your Posture Suffers on…

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Murphy’s Law Lives in my Lab

Some days are good and things run like clockwork. Then there are those other days – you know the ones – where you mutter to yourself, “Can’t anything go right today?!?!?” Those are the days you are subject to Murphy’s Law. And I am sorry to tell you “no, nothing will go right” those days…

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Entering your Lab: Know the Biosafety Level

Starting work in a new lab is exciting. You’re ready to begin doing awesome science and making new discoveries. However, safety comes first. You need to protect yourself, your colleagues, and your environment from the biological organisms and agents that you work with in the lab. Biosafety levels are a way of classifying the precautions you…

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5 Funny Things I Have Seen in the Lab

Given enough time, even the worst rookie research disasters seem amusing. It’s a comedy of errors that test our wit and our patience, but ultimately leave a lifelong impression on how to try experimentation a little bit differently the second time around. With that said, here are 5 brief stories of amusing things I’ve witnessed…

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Beginners Guide to Fume Hoods and Safety Cabinets

As with any experiment, choosing the right personal protective equipment is essential. In this series we’ll take a look at what different types of hoods add to your arsenal of PPE, what they do and how you can benefit by using them. First, why do I even need a hood? It’s common to run a…

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5 Misunderstood Chemicals That you are Using in the Lab

Common lab reagents may appear innocuous, but don’t be fooled! Sometimes even the most-used lab chemicals are hazardous to your health. It is important to make sure you have an understanding of the dangers a reagent can present before you use it. Which common chemicals should you look out for? Here is a brief look…

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Danger: You Might be Pipetting Yourself Out of a Job

You might be proud of your pipetting skills (if not, check this article on how to stop pipetting errors from ruining your experiments) and be churning out data faster than a liquid handling robot, but beware… you might also be pipetting yourself out of a job. I almost did. Pain due to pipetting is common.…

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Do Hand Sanitizer and Liquid Hand Soap Remove Viruses?

While reading my back issues of Applied and Environmental Microbiology (AEM), I came across an interesting paper that detailed an in-depth study on the effectiveness of hand cleaners to remove Norwalk virus (NV) from intentionally contaminated hands. Yes that’s right – intentionally contaminated, and how. The study volunteers allowed a 20% stool suspension containing Norwalk virus to be…

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10 Stupid Lab Safety Mistakes

Keeping safe in the lab really only requires one thing: common sense. But if you look at what people are doing in the lab, you might think that that common sense isn’t so common after all. What are the most stupid things you have seen people do in the lab to put the safety of…

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Warning: Dihydrogen Monoxide is Worse Than Ethidium Bromide

Please read and pass this life-saving information on to your friends. A chemical that all of us use in the lab has turned out to be highly dangerous. It is an asphyxiant, can cause severe burns and is a contributor to the greenhouse effect. Medical organizations all over the world confirm it to be responsible…

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Rookie Researcher Disasters

Wide eyed and wet behind the ears, the rookie researcher steps into the lab for the first time. Armed with several years’ knowledge mined from text books, lectures and undergrad labs he feels ready to take his place amongst the worldwide legions of scientists who battle daily in the pursuit of knowledge. Little does he…

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