This past week in the lab, myself and the other undergrad assistant spent a great deal of time perfecting our pipetting skills. It was a very interesting experience. Before handling real biological samples, the researchers in the lab wanted to be sure that we are comfortable aliquoting samples which have distinct layers in them. Both of us have used micropipettes, but never with layers.
We had to be creative in what we used to simulate pipette a sample, so the undergrad and I set out around Stanford’s campus looking for liquids with different densities. Ultimately we found Olive Oil and Honey. This was one of the most interesting lab tasks I have encountered thus far, but also reminded me how science surrounds us every day (and outside of the walls of a laboratory).
It was a really great learning experience to practice our separation skills in a low risk, low stress environment which encouraged us to perfect our skills a little more. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and for the creative thinking of the lab manager who came up with the idea to have us practice on liquids of varying densities.