Friday, January 9, 2009

Picture a Day-Day 38

Ever wonder why it is that medical bills and other research related stuff is so expensive for the consumer? These 11 tubes which I had to add water to cost a total of $161. That's actually pretty cheap in science actually at only $20 or so a tube. Comparatively a single tube of enzyme can cost up to $100 and over.

Primers, which are the fancy little things that make PCR sorta work, have a not so long lifetime. There's also a very good chance that they won't work due to the sequence being wrong or them being made incorrectly.

It's amazing how much for the scientific community you just sometimes have to throw stuff away because it's gotten too old or just didn't work (or grant money ran out). It's probably second in the most wasteful job right behind restaurants. Not to mention all the money you have to pay just to dispose of something because of how toxic it is. Word of warning, if for any reason you ever do visit a lab do not under any circumstances touch anything. There are chemicals out there that get spilled and soak into counter tops and can eat away at clothes and skin (I learned that the hard way when I was an undergrad, I got a nasty burn on my arm two weeks before my best friends wedding I was in).

But it's the nature of the beast. Enzymes which rely more on whatever mood the bacteria is in and not on something plastic mold injected have different levels of activity. Chemicals that are used to look at DNA are going to be harmful to touch (what with the fact that they are supposed to mess with DNA). And if in you visit to a lab and you see anyone playing with bright red or green stuff in beakers it's probably just food dye. Most things in science are actually crystal clear.

Now that I've let you in on some little science secrets what about your jobs? Are there any little hidden gems or rules the average public doesn't know about?

PS. In the guess what's in my box I have another hint. This came with it:


Linda said...

You got an oxygen tank? You look so young and I don't peg you for a smoker so I don't think you need an oxygen tank. Perhaps a helium tank. Can we come over and talk in funny high pitched voices?
I love when the pictures come from the lab. I have fond memories of HS chem classes.

Blablover5 said...

Damn you caught me. I plan on becoming a clown and entertaining at children's parties.

Miss Anne said...

i believe the beginning of your post was all in German... please speak english! :) ha! jk!

you are starting to snorkle???