25 July, 2007

Practical Oddness

It seemed entirely practical to me.

Today I was in the lab, doing a crapload of serial dilutions of bits of murine gastric epithelia to culture the stuff growing on them and, as such, I was suited up in a big sweaty rubber lab coat and double gloved. In doing this, I had to maintain sterile technique at all times.

Problem: My glasses started slipping down my nose.

Dilemma: Neither my gloved hands nor my glasses could be assumed to be sterile. My hands might have been contaminated with pathogens, and my glasses might have been carrying crud in the first place. As such, I could not use my hands to push my glasses back up my nose. Nor could I use my shoulder as I do when I'm only wearing gloves because of the big lab coat.

Solution: Take off gloves, go find a piece of tape. Attach tape to bridge of nose and run it upwards to attach to the nose-piece of my glasses and then to my forehead. Then go back to work with glasses firmly in place.

However, my fellow lab workers found this immensely amusing. Maybe it was that the tape was neon teal. Or perhaps it was that I did it without any fan-fare and quietly returned to the procedure, such that they didn't notice it but through a double-take.

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