Don't Guess and Grab

Don't Guess and Grab

In a lab, many reagents look similar either in color or formula and substituting one for another can cause substantial frustration for both you and your mentor. Back in the day, one of my student's experiment failed several times before I realized he was substituting EDTA for EGTA. That one letter made all the difference...

Whether you're new to the lab or in a hurry, double check your notes and the bottle label to make sure you have the correct one.

It's easy for us researchers to think, "Oh, I know which one I need based on the color of the bottle and where it's stored in the refrigerator or cabinet." But sometimes labmates don't put a reagent back in the proper place and, when in a hurry, it's easy to grab the wrong one.

Don't guess and grab. Read the label every time to build good lab habits.