Thursday, April 23, 2009

Come on guys ...

... it's a little bit of paperwork/legwork and wasting taking time to fill it out/do it would be worth it in the long run. It'd also save you from being publicly embarrassed, ya?
Vander Linden said the investigators know that several years ago an entire freezer full of biological samples broke down and all the samples had to be safely destroyed. But a complete inventory of what was in the freezer was not done before the samples were destroyed. Vander Linden said there's a "strong possibility" the vials were in that freezer and destroyed, but that isn't known for sure.
Where I work, we need to keep a complete inventory of what microbial isolates we have on hand*. As species/strains enter and/or leave the lab, the list needs to be updated. It's a bit of a pain in the toosh ... especially when we're talking about having to keep track of things even as simple/safe as E. coli K-12, but it's better than the alternative ... losing a sample and having it hit the news.

*I can't believe that I'm going to give kudo's to Microsoft but ... MS Access comes in really handy with this. It also helps in our chemical, plasmid, and primer inventories as well.

1 comment:

Philip H. said...

Ah yes, inventories. You probably hit most scientists where we hurt. I think a large part of the problem is the loss, mostly through retirement, of those in our disciplines who are dedicated to, even predisposed toward, the kind of detailed work that leads to proper inventories.

In my brnach of the biological/ecological/ocean sciences, we face a serious problem of the loss of real taxonomists. That means all the university and research based specimen collections aren't ebing renamed or explored, and the ability to differentiate new species is going away. Mush like your cited sample freezer, these collections have provided a wealth of knowledge, and their declining use, because of declinig people to use them, is a real tragedy.