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Disgruntled Julie

Disgruntled Julie is a laboratory slave 6th year Ph.D. student studying pediatric cancer through biochemistry and biophysics. When she isn't in lab (never), she enjoys cooking, cleaning, crafting, and other domestic goddess type activities. When she is in lab (always), she spends her time attempting to purify seemingly non-purifiable proteins, determining the structure of unstructured proteins, fighting with the pH meter, and injecting mice with cancer. Disgruntled Julie survives by finding the humor in lab life, and rants accordingly.

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I've been lurking around LabSpaces, but not posting of late.  While I revived my personal blog, I just haven't had the motivation -- or material -- to write about anything science-based lately.  Things are not progressing well, I feel like I can't share the problems because I'm not pseudonymous enough, and thinking about real science during my free time is just too painful right now.

But, a theme post on biggest lab mistake?  That I can do!

My biggest mistake can be neatly summed up into one sentence: You cannot precipitate out proteins with ammonium persulfate.

No, that would require ammonium sulfate.  Those three little letters make a really, really big difference.  Moral of this story: when you have an awful migraine and are vomiting left and right, either go home and go to bed, or make someone else double check the chemical you grab off the shelf.

Oops.  Three weeks of protein purification down the drain.

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Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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You know, when I read this, I was like, "Why not?"  I think I skipped the "per" in the middle too...  That's a shitty mistake!

Lab Mom
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Oohh that sucks.  It reminds me of a screw up I have made:  TBE doesn't stand for "tank buffer E"  Hard to run a protein gel with buffers designed for DNA.

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Haha. I had the same reaction as Brian. I really missed the 'per' - 3 letter word. When you're really not feeling well, you tend to make wrong decisions and you've been thinking a lot of stuffs so better stay at home and rest than have the chance of ruining something on the lab.

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