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Christmas In The Lab – Do’s and Don’ts


It’s that time of year here in Maryland. The last of the yellow leaves have fallen, the air is frosty and the party season is in full swing. Evening rush hour starts a few hours earlier than normal, the malls are packed like sardines in a can, and the Metro is full of drunken people in Santa suits shouting at each other and snapping selfies.

As scientists around the world gear up for the final throes of the festive period, it’s worth keeping in mind these practical survival tips.

• Make Secret Santa gifts out of common lab items. Because who could resist a reindeer made out of plastic pipettes, gaffer tape and solidified agar?
• Bake cookies in the shape of your favorite molecules and bring them in to share.
• Send Christmas cards to all your bitterest scientific competitors around the world, implying that you’re a lot closer to a “breakthrough” than you actually are.
• Take care chilling bottles of beer in the liquid nitrogen tank when the departmental ice machine breaks down.
• Finish and send off your manuscript to your favorite journal on Christmas Eve – the editors will sincerely appreciate your thoughtfulness, because honestly, they won’t have much to clear off their desks before close of business.

• Drink and experiment. Although I’m sure that mixing a smidgeon of radioactive phosphorus into your test tubes “just to liven things up” seemed like an awfully good idea at the time.
• Drink champagne from lab glassware. Because you do know where it’s been.
• Make your own special, patented brand of eggnog using the lab’s stock of industrial methylated spirits.
• Spike your cell cultures with sherry as a “festive treat” for being so good.
• Work too near the gas burner in your new sparkly Christmas sweater.
• Put Wham!’s “Last Christmas” on a repeating loop. Because everyone is tense enough as it is.

And above all…
Don’t forget to take some well-deserved time off. Because a few extra days is not going to make or break that Nobel or cancer cure. The BaneBio office will close for the holidays at noon on Friday, December 23rd and re-open on Tuesday, December 27th. We will also be closed on Monday, January 2nd for the New Year.

BaneBio is a provider of used and new laboratory equipment, supplies and services to the scientific community, worldwide. We offer high-quality, gently-used laboratory equipment, niche new product lines, and a multitude of laboratory services to the Life Sciences industry. BaneBio – Home of the Scientific Supermarket.

Best Wishes for a happy holiday season and festive and abundant New Year!

Reference: Jenny Rohn (2013). Christmas in the lab – do’s and don’ts. Retrieved from The Guardian: