• Question: Do you do practical stuff (bunsen burners etc.) all the time or do you do loads of writing all/most of the time?

    Asked by harrisgr04 to Amelia, Jim, Liz, Prateek, Richard on 22 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Jim Caryl

      Jim Caryl answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      lol, well, most of my day to day work is ‘practical stuff’, and in fact I DO have a Bunsen burner on for most of the day – I use it for sterilising my tools when working with bacteria.

      It can really vary on a day to day process. Today I have very minimal things going on in the lab; I am doing one experiment, and supervising a student on her project; but I am spending most of today sat at the computer talking to you guys, as well as analysing some of my student’s work to see why her experiments are going wrong, and also writing a report for a science publication.

    • Photo: Prateek Buch

      Prateek Buch answered on 22 Jun 2011:

      hah, hardly get to use bunsen burners, but I do use all sorts of cool things like DNA gels, pipettes to handle cells and fluorescent microscopes to look for proteins in the eye! I spend about 60% of my day in the lab usually

    • Photo: Amelia Markey

      Amelia Markey answered on 22 Jun 2011:

      I never use bunsen burners anymore in my work. But a lot of my time is spent reading, designing experiments, analysing data and doing lots of maths and thinking up cool new ideas for devices (i love the last bit!) Some of the time I am also making presentations and posters for conferences where I show other scientists the work I’ve done.

      The time I spend in the lab depends on what I’m doing. The reactions I do are really easy to set up then they just have to be left for a bit, the same with my device, it’s all programmed to work on its own.

      The most time I spend in the lab is when I’ve got a new device. A lot of work needs to be done to make sure the device is working properly. I need to make sure the heaters are working properly and heating the device up to the right temperature i need to make sure the liquids in the device are flowing at the right speed and the device is producing droplets properly. To control the device I need to make a program so that is injects the fluids at the right time and speed. Then when it’s all set up I can test it with DNA to see if it gets copied…