Unfiltered Story #90919

, , | Unfiltered | July 16, 2017

I once took a biochemistry lab course in college. The textbook was a photocopy of a draft the professor was writing. We were to be his guinea pigs! Well, the labs were scheduled for 3 hours long, but we never could finish the assigned work in less than four to six hours and had to stay late doing it.

In one lab we had to work up beef liver (for mitochondria, if I recall correctly) and ultracentrifuge the mix. Several of us put our glass test tubes (which dates this adventure, if you’re “in the know”), spun it down, only to pull out broken glass tubes!

I don’t anger quickly but I anger hot! I immediately checked all the glass centrifuge tubes and spotted asterisk-shaped cracks in the bottoms of more than half of these. I dropped these from shoulder height into a metal trash can and watched them shatter. (I figured that that was about the same stress they’d get in an ultracentrifuge.) I then went to the stockroom and got a bunch more, and repeated the processed until I had enough crack-free tubes to finish the lab work.

The teaching assistant was appalled, but there wasn’t much he could say (or dared to — I was pretty pissed off), as it was obvious that the cracked tubes could not survive the ultracentrifuge and should never have been issued to us in the first place.

I heard later that the professor never published that lab manual…