Wednesday, June 11, 2008

You can cook your brain with cell phones

Just watch these video clips........ Scary!!!
Microwaves from cell phones are real!!

Thermolyne Benchtop Liquid Nitrogen Transfer Vessels

At last, found a replacement for the Benchtop Liquid Nitrogen Transfer Vessels that was broken.

It is called "Thermoflask Thermolyne" Benchtop Liquid Nitrogen Transfer Vessels. It comes with a secured lid (there are locks to ensure the lid is closed when transporting liquid nitrogen) and there is a Vent on the top so no worry about building up pressure inside.

So far so good. I am happy with the purchase.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Exploded liquid nitrogen transfer vessel

Did you know the inner glass of liquid nitrogen transfer vessel can actually explode?!

I was not there when this happened but according to the witnesses (A post-Doc and a Volunteer student), it JUST HAPPENED!!! They were getting ready to get some liquid nitrogen and fortunately they had not even opened the tab of liquid nitrogen tank.

All they did was put the liquid nitrogen transfer vessel on the floor and "BAM" the glassed inside just shattered.

Fortunately they were dressed up with goggles and gloves and were not standing too too close (I assume since they did not get hurt)......

The warning did say "it could shatter unexpectedly".....

Well, time to shop for a new liquid nitrogen transfer vessel.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The smell of Seleno-L-Methionine

"We need to do this by incorporating Selenium into the protein complex to get the crystal structure of the complex"

My boss was telling me one of the three strategy to incorporate metal into the complex so that we could get a better crystal structure.

"Oh no, not selenium again" I thought. Back in school, I spent two years working in a lab that was dealing with Arsenic and Selenium on daily bases and I cannot say I enjoyed the smell and exposure. I was young and naive.....all I wanted was getting my degree back then.

Since it has been some years from my last encounter with selenium, I decided to do some toxicity check on it. The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) of Seleno-L-Methionine did not say too much, only the obvious "touching, breathing, and swallowing are not good for you" warnings.

What I am concerning the most is the smell. I am not sure if the smell of Seleno-L-Methionine could be considered as "Fume"..... in the case of Hydrochloric acid, if you can smell it then you are breathing in the Hydrochloric acid.
The same goes for Beta-Mercaptoethanol and TEMED (Tetramethylethylenediamine). If you can smell it, you are practically inhaling the chemical.

Some seasoned scientists may tell me the amount that we are getting exposed is so small that it cannot harm.... or is it? Just because nobody has not proven that it is not dangerous yet does not mean it is not!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Where do all the collected Hazardous Chemical Waste go?

Have you ever wondered where all the chemical waste goes?

Once a month, we have to bring all the hazardous chemical waste to the loading doc where the Environmental Health and Safety Officer takes them over and mysteriously make them disappear from the building.

One day, I had an opportunity to talk to one of the officer and asked where all the hazardous chemical waste would go to. The answer was Hazardous Waste Incinerators. Apparently they get burned slowly and in a controlled way so that the fumes do not leak from the facility and contaminate the environment. Here are couple video clips about Hazardous Waste Incinerators.

Sounds great!! But does it work that beautifully? Here is another video clip to answer that. Interesting..... Very Interesting.....

More resources links