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When you enter a laboratory for the first time, you may be surprised to find so many devices and reagents. Reagent names may seem difficult to pronounce and glassware too fragile, so you might be a little scared to break them. In addition, you will see that laboratory material can have all sorts of sizes , you might be able to see one colleague preparing two liters of a solution while another measures 0.2 microliters in a small tube.
In this first approach to the laboratory, I am going to talk to you about the basic rules. You must know that those rules depend on what type of laboratory it is- for instance, some laboratories just require basic safety rules because they don’t use risky materials, while others require the use of special clothing and disinfection before entering the laboratory.
In a chemistry or biology laboratory, you will need to follow very important rules to ensure that the practice is successful, some of them are obvious, such as not introducing food or drinks, wearing a gown (that protects your clothes from getting dirty or yourself from some corrosive substance), and of course not smelling or tasting any of the reagents.
There are other less obvious rules, but as important as the previous ones. For instance, we must wear closed shoes for safety, and when we work with biological material, such as blood or tissue, it should be disposed of properly and in a controlled manner. The same thing happens with the reagents; never throw a chemical substance directly into the sink, it can contaminate a lot!
Depending on the lab, you must follow more specific rules, but I recommend something that is not always stated in the rules: always ask if you have questions.
We know that one of the characteristics of a good scientist is to be very curious and eager to learn new things, so if you are in a laboratory, ask someone with experience any question you may have, such as where the necessary reagents are, or how to use certain equipment if you are unsure of how it works.
We can all be intimidated by being new in the lab, but never be afraid to ask.
Welcome to the Velab lab. Do you have questions about laboratory rules? Have you ever been in a laboratory? Would you like to visit us to learn more?
I will write about specific laboratory materials in later publications. Do you want to learn how to use a microscope?
One of the tasks of scientists is to share our knowledge, so we will always be willing to answer questions, that is our job! Feel free to ask a lot!