Dirty, dirty dirty

Jan 09 2009 Published by under Uncategorized

I really like the layout and setup of my lab for the most part... but its ventilation system is really yucky. When we first got here, the blowers never blew and they had to come open them up. We had spent hours wiping down all the surfaces and cleaning everything up, and as soon as they did that, crud and dust and dead bug parts got blown all over the place.

I still keep finding new dead insects in weird places, or just parts: a leg here, a wing there. All surfaces get coated in a thin film of some kind of dark dusty powder within a day or two of being cleaned. I'm sure this is not good. Luckily we do all of our cell culture in a different room that doesn't have these problems, but I do have a pretty sensitive instrument living in this environment. I just took out its RF amp board assembly (which appears to have failed), and DAMN is it dirty. It too is coated in a thin, directional (as in, coming from the side the instrument shell's vent holes are on) film, including all over the circuit boards and stuff.

Somehow I get the feeling this is not good...

4 responses so far

  • Prof-like Substance says:

    Put air conditioner filters over all your blowers. I've seen that in a lot of places and it seems to help. It won't solve the problem, but at least you'll have fewer legs to clean up.

  • Becca says:

    Can you get a little self-contained unit air filter?My old lab air filters (that I think were designed to remove allergen particles or something) that worked well enough for keeping the air around the electrophysiology rig less mucky than it otherwise would have been.

  • Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    YuckMind you I was watching a programme last night about serendipity in science, and they were talking about how a little sloppiness lay behind some big discoveries - e.g. Fleming and penicillin (contaminated plates), Pasteur and using attenuated bacteria as vaccines (tech screwed up). So, maybe it's a good thing...?

  • Al Anine says:

    That is my job... When I am in the lab late waiting on some induced cultures I wipe down the equipment. Honestly some of this stuff probably has dust on it from the 1980s. I tried to clean out the centrifuge rotor the other day but only managed to remove about half of the junk stuck in it. I am hoping my cleanliness transitions the lab into a new state of accountability! Idealism, I know!

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