cell phone

a photo of three petri dishes with dead material in them. The result of a failed experiment.

Lab Cell Phone Tip #3: When Something Doesn't Look Right

Note: This tip won't work for all research environments. In some labs, there is no-phone policy. Usually, it's because the work being done is easily compromised by having a phone around (because the phone cannot be sterilized) or because having a phone distracts the researcher in a way that is a safety hazard. So, this tip only applies to students who have discussed the lab's cell phone policy with their in-lab mentor or PI, and are allowed to use the phone.

Your Cell Phone is a Research Tool: Tip #1

Smart phones, when used appropriately, can give you a distinct advantage in the lab.

For example, rather than standing with the freezer door open trying to memorize which enzymes your lab has, use your phone to take a photo. Likewise, take a photo instead of jotting down the catalog number of each research component you need.

Then, head back to your desk where you can plan your experiment without needing to return to the freezer multiple times to double-check, or search for that piece of paper that you just had a second ago.