Fong:Lab Basics

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General Lab Guidelines

  1. Act courteously and respectfully to each other
  2. If you are unsure about something, do not be afraid to ask!
  3. Safety and accuracy take priority over speed
  4. Label everything with Date, Initials, and Contents (anything unlabeled will be discarded)
  5. Wash and put away your glassware (final 2 rinses with DI water)
  6. Clean up your work area each day and put all items back where you found them
  7. Record all work in lab notebook
  8. Do not use another person's chemicals or reagent stocks without permission.
  9. If you use the last (or near last) of something, make more, or notify Cindy so more can be ordered.

Waste disposal


Biohazard waste includes any solids or liquids which have or may have come in contact with biological agents. All biohazard waste must be disposed of properly. If you are unsure where to place something, just ask.

  1. Place all used serological pipettes into the “Biohazard Box” marked beside the BioSafety Cabinet (BSC) in room 409. Used serological pipettes which have not contacted biological agents can be placed in the box under the BSC.
  2. Place all used pipette tips into the autoclave bag marked “Biohazard” on the bench tops.
  3. Place all plates and tubes into the “Biohazard Box”
  4. For liquid wastes (e.g., live cells, old media, etc.) add 10% bleach and discard into the sink.

When the bag is full it should be closed with autoclave tape and autoclaved at 120°C for 90 minutes (cycle P3 in room 439). Be sure to tape the bag loosely so it does not explode. Attach a label (in the log book room 439) and put in the hallway for the cleaning crew.


Chemical waste disposal is located under the bench by the sink in room 409. All harmful chemicals must be placed in the appropriate container, according to the labels on each container. If you are disposing of a chemical for which there is no container present, see Cindy to start a new one. There is a plastic bag dedicated to ethidium bromide where you should place used gels and pipette tips used to transfer EB.

Dishwashing and autoclave

  • All bottles, Erlenmeyer flasks, spreaders, inoculation loops, and tubes should always be treated as if they will be used for sterile culture:
    1. Wash with soap and brush, and rinse thoroughly. The last two rinses should be done with D.I. water.
    2. Allow to dry on rack.
    3. Loosely close bottles and cover flasks and tubes with aluminum foil, and label with autoclave tape.
    4. Autoclave in 409 on "Wrapped" cycle or in 439.
    5. Return items to cabinet with autoclave tape intact.
  • Graduated cylinders, large flasks, and stirrers do not need to be autoclaved but should still be rinsed with D.I. water prior to hanging to dry.


  1. Everything (fridge, freezer, -80 freezer) belongs in some type of container (e.g., storage rack)
  2. If you need a container, we’ll order more
  3. Document all samples in laboratory log (for -80 freezer and dewar)
  4. Keep additional record of where samples are housed in lab notebook