Re: Microscopes in offices?

From:"J. A. Kiernan"

On Fri, 27 Jul 2001 wrote:
> We were unable to have our scope in our office when I worked at 
> the hospital lab. Due to people having drinks in the office.

This is a genuinely grave safety matter. If you knock over
a mug of coffee or a top-heavy paper cup of coke the liquid
could get into the mechanical workings of the microscope - 
perhaps necessitating professional dissection and cleaning
if the knobs become stiff as a result.  Even worse, you
might be using an objective as a magnifier to get a first
impression of a section and then cough up come bits of a
chewed up ham, lettuce and mustard sandwich with sesame
seeds in the bread; and some of the expectoranda might
go down the hole where the eyepiece was, falling perhaps 
even into the exit pupil of a plan-apo objective.

The safety administrators should be venerated and praised
for their wisdom, protecting their employers' expensive
microscopes by ordering that they must be in labs, where 
nothing ever gets spilled (and even if it did it couldn't
be harmful because all harmful substances were banned
from labs years ago). 

If an accidentally dropped bottle of mounting medium in the
lab were to be splash onto the objective, mechanical stage 
and condenser of a microscope it wouldn't matter at all.
The well trained safety personnel would simply evacuate
the lab for a day or two while the solvent evaporated
and then let everyone back in to carry on with the work.
The microscope would still work perfectly for examining
the slide that was on its stage at the time of the

"Oh let us never, never doubt
 What nobody us sure about."
                              Hillaire Belloc, 1898.
John A. Kiernan
Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology
The University of Western Ontario
London,  Canada   N6A 5C1

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