RE: ergonomics - in defense of motorized microtomes

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From:Pam Marcum <>,,
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The old black AO is how many of us learned to cut and couldn't imagine
anything better at the time.  I have used both manual and automated
microtomes and the only fear I have is that people will forget the feel of
cutting different types of tissue and just barge ahead as I have seen all to
often. I think we should still learn on the rotary just so we know which
speeds to use and what the differences are.  Too many people are being
trained with not enough history and basics to troubleshoot problems.  Just
my opinion.  Pam Marcum

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Saturday, March 25, 2000 12:23 PM
Subject: Re: ergonomics - in defense of motorized microtomes

I learned to cut tissues on those black AO microtomes...a long time ago and
in a galaxy far away (Iowa). I never used a motorized microtome until I had
job working for a company that made and sold them. At first I thought I
wouldn't like them but after cutting some tissues I found that I did like
Then I went to a friend's lab and cut a whole bunch of tissues for a
on one of her motorized Microms and let me tell you I really got into it and
the cutting went fast, the slides were wonderful and I have to admit that I
am a bit envious because now I am working back in the lab and my lab still
has manual AO gray 820 microtomes.
There is a small learning curve when starting to use a motorized microtome
but when I was selling these things I noticed that the techs quickly adapted
and in a very short time they got into their new routine of cutting (most of
these labs were very busy clinical labs) and they even remarked that their
productivity was actually greater than before. None ever felt that they had
little or no control once they used the microtomes for a few cutting
but this was a concern when they started out.
I sure hope I can replace my microtomes someday...not too far away.


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