Who else is scared of laboratory instrumentation?


One for the science people: how long did it take before you were no longer intimidated by using sophisticated (and therefore expensive) lab equipment?

I have a turbulent relationship with a recalcitrant LC-Mass Spec. It still makes me jump every time it makes a noise (and these machines make a lot of noise, which isn't doing my nerves any good)


I had a fear of our liquid nitrogen storage thing. I'm ok now with it, but we've just got a new expensive one that looks even more scary, so i think this one is going to be worse!

It makes lots of odd noises and pumps stuff everywhere - and it's very very cold!!! There's also the fear that i might drop my (pretty bad)or someone else's cells (much worse)into the tank of liquid nitrogen and lost forever!


Our liquid nitrogen tank makes a horrible squealing noise when you turn the tap on. I'm always worried about freezing my feet cos the floor fills up with cold mist. Mind you it's fun to impress undergrads with.


I had a £6,000 piece of equipment bought for me.. It is still on one of my benches unused and the glassware still wrapped up.. I have to use it next week so I am a bit scared!!


he he...once I split some liquid nitrogen on the corridor. It rolled along the floor and under the door of the estates office...whereupon it disappeared in a puff of mist (as it does). I can still remeber the amazed look on the estate bloke's face as he opened the door and looked up and down the corridor, where of course nothing was amiss cos all the nitrogen had evaporated by then.

Maybe that's where the runours of ghosts in the building began


What is your 6000quid instrument, Tricky?


I hated the liquid nitrogen tank as well, always used to try and get someone else to fill the dewars (not doing a science PhD but used to work in a lab)

Also ultracentrifuges

And very expensive chemicals that had to be made up properly or you ruined them.

Mind you at school I was scared of lighting the bunsen burner.

I think maybe I was never really cut out for science


Ultracentrifuges are bad; when you think of the speed that heavy rotor is spinning at (need an smiley for nerves)


Its a denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis kit.. basically just a big heated fish tank


When I used to work in the lab, I used to scared of the robots that the company owned, mostly because I was scared of breaking them and I would end up paying the company forever.

One of them (liquid mover thing) used to move so fast, I got worried that it would take my head off if I stood too close.


I hate using our robot for PCR. it gets jammed and things all the time and boss goes mad.

liquid nitrogen scares me i have visions of my hand freezing and falling off.


Robots? Seriously? We don't have any of them. The closest we have is the robotic arm on the HPLC-DAD autosampler (one of the few things I'm not scared of).


When I started technician work, I was scared of a large centrifuge with a very heavy and very expensive rotor, liquid N2 (no because of the potential injury so much as getting growled at for using it wrongly), the freezers (in case I accidentally thawed other people's samples), any strong acids or alkalis, anything radioactive, a histamine autoanalysis machine we had, and a large water purification machine. Pretty much everything then...

A few months later, and I was steadier, and by the time I finishe,d nine months later, I was as confident as you can be.


walk in freezers scare me also..


Not robots as normal people would envisage them i.e a 6ft tall man of steel. I say to him "synthesise this compound now" and he does it.