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Make Lab Friends. Not Enemies

Make Lab Friends. Not Enemies

"When a supply is low, tell the person who needs to know."

Whenever we ask researchers to share their pet peeves with us, discovering that a regent or supply was empty and had not been reordered was near the top of the list--for everyone.

Many supplies take a few days or longer to arrive at the lab—they can’t be picked up locally in a pinch. A labmate, for example, can’t run out to Target to in the middle of the night to purchase ligase and complete their cloning reaction.

At the very least, if an item needs to be ordered, tell the person in charge in the lab. Send an email. Leave a note. Use a carrier pigeon. Make sure it’s known by the person who needs to know it. And never throw away an empty container (or ignore an almost empty tube) without letting someone know!