Monday, November 16, 2009

On Science and Fire

So in my worm lab I’m helping a fellow lab mate recover some old strains of worms to freeze. In addition to recovering the animals and decontaminating them some of them are infested with mites. Mites are the worst kind of contamination you can get because they can spread like wildfire, go through parafilm, and survive a lot of things. So I had the mite problem under control in most of strains save 2. So what I did was when I chunked them I did so in a ring of ethanol and when I was done and everything was sealed up I would ignite the ring of ethanol to burn any mites on the surface of my lab bench. I put the ethanol down first with the first strain and it didn’t really light well, so for the second strain I did the chunk, sealed everything, then but the ethanol ring down and light it. Bigger flame then I expected, may have melted the plates shut. I guess we’ll find out when I come back to that plate….