first mess up | 2

For my internship, which studies the Golgi body in different types of cells and problems like fragmentation and apoptosis. I had to run a procedure called immunofluorescence microscopy on about 10 coverslips – coverslips are “a thin flat piece of transparent material, usually square or rectangular, about 4/5 in wide and 1/4mm thick, that is placed over objects for viewing with a microscope.” – whereby a bunch of cells of 100-1000 are grown on these coverslips. 9 of these coverslips are treated with different drug concentrations and one is the control.

This procedure of immunofluorescence is very critical due to the fact that the cells are microscopic, therefore you cannot see if the process is actually working until you are done and looking at them under a microscope. Also, this process usually takes within 6-8 hours for a day, or sometimes may stay overnight.

The final process before looking at the cells on the microscope is to mount these very small and thin coverslips on a microscope slide. This is where I went wrong. To mount these coverslips on the Microscope slide, you need to use forceps to hold onto these really thin and small objects and place them on the slide. As I was done mounting 9 of these coverslips on the microscope slides and had just one left to go, the coverslip slipped from the Forceps and landed face down on the lab desk, which ruined the cells.

I was still hopeful as I had 9 of these that I could still view, until I realized that the one, which I had dropped, was the control. Being the control means that I am to compare this cell to all other ones in order to record the effect the drugs had on the cells. Therefore the other cells were useless without the control.

There was no other way to fix this error than to run the experiment again the next day, only that this time it took longer because I worked as fast as a sloth so as not ruin anything else.

One thought on “first mess up | 2

  • July 20, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Great example of how to learn from a mess-up…thank you for sharing!


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