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University of Colorado Denver


Translational Bio-Nanosciences Laboratory

Lab Rules

Our lab rules (constantly updated)-please adhere! 

General lab rules

  • Clean up after yourself and maintain your workplace and the lab in order
  • Safety is very important, wear goggles coat and gloves, work in the hood whenever necessary
  • Dispose of solvents and chemicals in the bottle in the hood, never into the sink!
  • Work with solvents in the hood only
  • All reagents after use should go back to their designated place
  • If running low on a reagent–order before it is finished
  • Enter every new reagent in the catalog including location
  • Write everything you do in the lab book and sign/date every day
  • Document the experiments with images and quantitative data (you can stick everything into the lab book, including instrument printouts and gels); summarize the method, result and conclusion, preferably in Excel or power point (can attach pictures);
  • Each experiment gets the following number: year-month-day-initials-description, for example 120702-KC-bladder binding

General advice

  • 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 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.
  • Stay focused on the project, be persistent, “not working” is not the answer. Get the problem solved by trying alternative approaches. 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-great discoveries were made by serendipity!
  • Read the 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)