plastic tubes and pipette tips leach chemicals that botch experiments - glass containers with silicone sleeve
A poor worker blamed his tools, they said, but according to a new study, it is likely that laboratory scientists have reason to do so.
Reed McDonald of the University of Alberta found that some poor experiments may be due to the loss of chemicals in plastic tubes used by scientists every day.
Disposable plastic products such as the ubiquitous Eppendorf tube are the main content of laboratory research, and for biologists, it is as important as mixing bowls for chefs.
They are always disinfected before use, which reassure researchers that they can experiment without contamination.
But new research suggests this security may be wrong.
McDonald's research team originally studied a human protein called monoamine enzymes. B (MAO-B)
When they realized that it was acting strangely in their experiments
After a careful study of other aspects of the experiment, the team realized that it was the equipment that interfered with their results.
They switched to the glass container and tested the solution for flushing the plastic container.
To their surprise, they found that pure water stored in plastic tubes could stop MAO-B by up to 40%.
This plastic has a greater effect on another common laboratory solvent, called px (DMSO).
It is clear that one or more chemicals have been dissolved into the liquid from the tube and continue to affect the protein.
MacDonald analyzed the substance in the liquid and identified two culprits-a lubricant called oil amine and a disinfectant called DiHEMDA.
Both chemicals are deliberately added to plastic products during the manufacturing process, both of which can prevent MAO-B.
The scale of this problem is not limited to plastic pipes.
MacDonald also found that the tips of the pipettes used by scientists to transfer liquid from one tube to another can also be used to prevent MAO-B.
Another chemical that leaks from plastic plates to water actually promotes the growth of enzymes.
This is a problem anyway.
This means that the standard equipment has the potential to disrupt the experimental results to a considerable extent.
The scale of the problem is unclear, but the Eppendorf tube and the tips of the transfer tube are the two most common and basic devices used by laboratory scientists.
They are made by a number of key companies and are used by researchers around the world.
Who knows how many results this previously untested effect has distorted? Reference: G. R. McDonald, A. L. Hudson, S. M. J. Dunn, H. You, G. B. Baker, R. M. Whittal, J. W. Martin, A. Jha, D. E. Edmondson, A. Holt (2008).
Leaching of biological active pollutants in the science of plastic products in disposable laboratories, 322 (5903), 917-917 DOI: 10. 1126/science.