Sunday, January 4, 2009

What's the worst that can happen?

Was what I was thinking when I left the lab across campus after starting the centrifuge. I had gone to a facility to use their ultracentrifuge for a project I am working on and was shocked to find that they did not have the caps that sit on top of the plastic tubes and keep them from distorting. Who has this rotor without the caps? It didn't make any sense. On the other hand, people had been using it for months at even higher speeds than I was, so I figured the tubes wouldn't be too badly affected. If they were, other people wouldn't be using it, right?

Figure 1. The worst that could happen.

Well, as you can see, they must be using something else. It's a fuzzy picture, but let me fill in the details you may not be able to see. That's a tube that previously contained material that I do not have much of. In fact, that was about 3/4 of the sample that I had spent a week in North Carolina getting. The tube utterly collapsed and crushed most of the sample out, which apparently then evaporated, because there is no sign of it anymore. The sample is likely useless now, though there is a slim chance I can recover a bit.

Deadlines will make you do stupid things without thinking them through. Dude. Fuck. Sigh.


  1. Another example of the fickle master that is Science.

    Hope you can at least salvage something that'll work towards the deadline.