27 January 2006

Virology outside lab is scary

I got to thinking that there's a lot of stuff we talk about in lab that when outside, for instance at an airport, could be (and has been) misinterpreted severely. So here's the list of stuff we talk about in lab that could land us in lots of trouble with the authorities when said outside.

1. Did I give you Dengue or did you get it from Tom?
2. I have the bloody diarrhoea bacteria
3. I didn't get the clone
4. I got the clone (don't know which is scarier)
5. So we're going to mix the DNA of x virus with y virus
6. I have mutations up the wazoo and don't know what to do with them
7. The smell of a fresh culture of bacteria in the morning really wakes me up
8. Caution - carcinogens and reproductive toxins inside this lab (on every lab door)
9. Did you infect the cells?
10. How's the virus in a test-tube project going?
11. So I mutated the HIV...
12. Did I give you the radioactivity?
13. I got lots of west nile virus (OK that one is really scary)
14. Skulls and crossbones on most chemicals that we use
15. I don't use gloves for that, but I've had kids and don't care anymore
16. Damn, the mutant doesn't grow
17. I made the virus glow
18. I got contamination, how about you?
19. This is the wrong clone
20. It's a free t-shirt, so what if it says 'Rubella rules'?
21. I'm a virologist, if you see me coughing, run away

Disclaimer : OK so it has happened to us that we're at a public place talking about work as if we were still at work and everyone stares at us funny and a little scared :) but rest assured in lab we follow all the safety practices and the public and we are safe from clones and mutants and virus chimaeras.


Mansoora said...

You are HILARIOUS!!!! I love this post!! Funny how we might take this stuff for granted..but if someone from outside heard it..they'd think we were nuts :-/

Mosilager said...

Thanks Mansoora!

Mayuri said...

The 'Virology outside lab is scary' post was really good. I liked No.15.

visitor said...

How about these from Drosophila geneticists?

I've got to get them when they are virgins.
Did you mate the virgins?

Mosilager said...

don't know much about drosophila... oh wait I taught a class in that... yeah my students did mate the virgins. although i can't for the life of me remember how we decided which were which.

Visitor said...

Freshly emerged flies, do not mate for about 8 hours, they have a translucent abdomen through which a blackish spot is visible inside. The flies are etherised and viewed through the microscope to select virgins of the required genotype/phenotype.

Responding to another query of yours, I was in a Drosophila genetics lab for sometime.

Shaun said...

Huh? I don't really understand this list.

So you really go out to public places and have work-related conversations with coworkers. OK got it.

But how do you have a conversation like this:

"Hi Mike, how are things going?" "Not bad, but caution - carcinogens and reproductive toxins inside this lab."
"Oh, that's too bad, probably because skulls and crossbones on most chemicals that we use."