We are a nation obsessed with sterility. This week, the autoclaves used by our lab are under repair and we have been forced to wonder... just how necessary is it that we are sterile? Must we use deionized, purified water for everything we do? When we do experiments on our bench, right out in the open, they turn out ok. When we open up a plate and look in it, breathing on it, exposing it to the air, it's ok too. I have decided there are things much more important to worry about in the lab, like:
1. The mysterious chemical burn I got on my finger yesterday.
2. The myserious chemical burns I keep getting on my clothes.
3. The mysterious chemical burn that appeared one day on a picture on our wall, that has slowly eaten through the picture and may be eating through our wall.
Considering these thoughts, perhaps what we are protecting our experiments from is not the great and wild but the things we are doing right next door, like flinging chemicals all over the walls, each other and our experiments.