Friday, July 09, 2004

Pump, Pump it up a little more 

This is what happens when you put your faith in machines.

I've been doing 2D gels for a few months now. This involves a step where I need to run a gel in the cold room, hooked up to a pump that circulates the buffer. This is because I run the gel at such a high voltage that it will overheat otherwise.

Our buffer circulator is pretty old. In may, the tubing got a hole in it while I was running an overnight gel and all the buffer was pumped out. My gel was fine, all was not lost, but I lost a few hours.

We decided that the reason this happened was that we weren't using the fancy schmancy expenstive tubing that the manufacturer recommends. So we ordered it (about $80 for 50 feet) and waited. In the meantime, I've been using another labs system. So this week, the tubing comes in. I decide to go an extra step: the pump head was getting a litle rusty. So I soak it in acetic acid for a few hours, get all the rust off of it, add a little mineral oil, make sure it's working smootly...great! I hook it up, start the gel, and everything is running great. I have BM check on it for me before she leaves at 8:30, still running great.

So imaging my surprise this morning when I go in and find buffer everywhere. Yep. The brand new super duper extra strength tubing had sprung a leak where it wraps around the pump head.

Son of a...

Got it all set up again with the other labs pump, no problem. So I really just lost a few hours. But still. Boss lady want to see if we can order a new head (not likely, this type of pump has been discontinued...wonder why?). I told her I didn't care. I am NEVER using this pump again. Ever! It has BETRAYED ME!

Yeah, geeky science bitching...

On a lighter note, K is taking me out to dinner tonight, since I make him two kick ass dinners in a row this week. And he is looking forward to what happens after dinner, since after last night's performance, I told him he could do WHATEVER he wanted tonight.

That was probably a mistake.

Oh, well. Hopefully I'll get some sleep tonight...:)