Hi! I'm Geeka. I've been a scientist for, I don't know, it seems like forever, I guess since I started college, so, like 15 years? Anyhow, this is where I'm going to give my take on a bunch of stuff. I'm usually a little bit out there (that is, I don't see the obvious at the outset), which means that you are probably going to have to deal with reading such topics as: Interpersonal relationship training for scientists, my lab pet peeves, how to get along in business when you just came straight out of academia, trying to deal with having a life and being a scientist, really odd topics for a paper, random stuff I found on the internet that made me shoot coffee out of my nose, you know, (ab)normal Geeka. Why the title? Because at the very heart of me, I'm a virologist, and while I don't necessarily do that now, it's how I view the scientific world.
My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.
When I was a n00b in the lab, my rotation project was to clone our gene of interest into a dsRed vector, but I had to clone in an acceptor site, and put a 3X flag in the sequence. Because this was hard for a N00b, it took me 6 weeks, and I went through a lot of agar plates. (after 6 months in the lab, the same damn thing took me a week, and I felt like a prize idiot) I also had to make agar plates for everyone else, as dictated by my lab overlord Dave.
Dave was cool. He flat out told me not to join the lab, and he was actually the one that came up with 'Jackass' as the PI's nickname.
So, one day, I made some agar plates (from a mix, no less), let them solidify while I was at class, then came back and put each individual plate into the sleeve that they came in. I then took them across the lab, and put them in the crisper section of the fridge.
Go back and read the previous paragraph again. I'll wait.
2 days later, I'm sitting at the lab bench. Dave goes to grab some plates out of the fridge, and all I hear is "Holy Fuck! What the hell did you do?" I walk around to the fridge, and Dave is standing there with the sleeve of plates, and all of the agar has un-solidified and is soupy in the bottom of the plastic sleeve. Dave is laughing his ass off.
I start explaining that they were solid when I put them away. They had to be, because there was no way I was getting them into the bag if they were still liquid. So Dave starts harassing me. He starts asking how I got something to unsolidify in the fridge. He starts telling me that I should transfer to physics because I have a future in cold fusion.
Neither of us ever figured this out. It never happened again.
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No follow up experiments to see if you could replicate the event??
Actually, I had someone watch me make plates the next 12 times I made them because I was convinced that I didn't do anything wrong.
We once had a contaminating bacteria that expressed an agarase and could melt plates. Usually it happened after the plates were at room temp, though. That is really weird. I think it makes more sense that someone was messing with you.
Was there methyl cellulose mixed in with the agar? I know I once did that to a friend of mine, since methyl cellulose "liquefies" at cold temperatures, and sets up in warmer ones.