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University of Colorado Denver

 

Translational Bio-Nanosciences Laboratory

Lab Rules


  • Clean up after yourself and maintain a clean and orderly lab space.
  • Safety is very important: wear goggles, a coat, and gloves, and work in the hood whenever necessary.
  • Dispose of solvents and chemicals in the bottle in the hood; never into the sink!
  • Work with volatile solvents in the hood only.
  • All reagents should be put back in their designated place after use.
  • If running low on a reagent, please order it before it runs out.
  • Write everything you do in the lab book and sign and date it each day. Never omit any details – even the small ones!
  • Document experiments with images and quantitative data; you can include attachments to the lab book, including printouts and gels. Summarize the experiment, including method, result and conclusion, preferably in PowerPoint.
  • Each experiment gets the following: year-month-day-initials-description, for example.

Advice for Scientists

  • If there is a problem, it is OK to admit it and ask for help.
  • Always try to quantify your observations. Pictures are nice to publish, but only quantitative data can give you confidence in the results.
  • Always try to include positive and negative controls.
  • The experiments should be run at sufficient number of replicates (3 or more) and repeated for statistical power. You must be sure that the result is correct!
  • Stay focused on the project. Be persistent: don't give up easily.
  • 10-20% of time should be improvisation and innovation; Try crazy things, and don't be afraid to make mistakes!
  • Read literature periodically, brainstorm ideas, go to seminars and conferences, listen to news – you never know where new ideas can come from!
  • It is OK to argue and defend your point of view.
  • If you don't have time to do it right, do you think you will have time to do it over?
  • "Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today." - Benjamin Franklin