Warming Up to the Mold

Before the lab started using the LIMS system, the assistants were having a hard time keeping track of the inventory. They wrote everything down on paper to log it, but this still led to some mistakes and the lab needed something a little more up to date. The system makes it easy for the assistants to simply type in the inventory numbers, and when the inventory gets low enough, they simply order more to replenish the stock. Given how many test tubes, plates, and pipettes the lab goes through, we need to have a steady stock to ensure that our experiments will be carried out.

In the lab, I’ve been using the plates to work with different types of mold. The mold are being tested to see if they have an effect on certain types of bacteria. At first I found the idea of working with mold a little boring, and wanted to do something a little more interesting, like working with the lab rats or even taking blood samples. After spending some time with the mold, I began to like putting new samples on the plates and waiting for them to grow. I don’t know if I’ve gone a bit crazy, but I even talk to the mold samples sometimes when no one is looking.

After getting the results I need from a plate of mold, I have to dispose of the plate to keep the mold from growing. There is a protocol that all of the lab workers have to follow to make sure that anything that is potentially a biomedical hazard is disposed of properly. If the protocol is broken, it could result in anyone in the lab getting sick, or even someone in the general public getting sick. It’s a little scary to think about, but I’m confident we can all follow the protocol.

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