Category: Laboratory

"Friends" Don't Let Friends Skip Their Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test

There has been plenty of talk about the reunion of the Friends cast earlier this month. Maybe you were a fan of the show during its original run and wanted to see how the actors had aged, or maybe you discovered it online and wanted to see something new. In any case, it was good... Read more »

Here Is What It Takes To Make My Day

“Hi Dr. Raff, I look forward, and am hopeful for, another well-orchestrated roll-out, just as you did with the rectal culture workflow. Thank you for your professionalism and leadership! KC” Wow. It has been a tough few months for all of us. Pandemic, social unrest, product shortages, political nihilism. It’s not the best time to... Read more »

Four Things I Know Doing Crossword Puzzles In Ink

It gets messy. There are scratch-outs and write-overs and margin-scribbles. Some of the little square boxes, originally white, now are so intensely filled that only I can tell what letter I have ultimately figured out is the right one. And that’s the way I like it. Doing my puzzles in ink, I see every step I have... Read more »

Testing, Puzzles, and COVID Haikus. Two Misses and a Hit

Like at all times, there are ups and there are downs. Miss #1:  We Could Be Testing, Yeah! Our laboratory is still open, and we came so close to being able to do some COVID testing. As I wrote last year, we planned on entering the field of molecular microbiology (MM), a relatively new technique to... Read more »

The Lab Rolls, Just Like The Rolling Stones

Want to see what our lab looks like? That’s it on the left. “What?” you say. Where are the pictures of the equipment and the smiling faces and the heads peering down microscopes? Sure, those are all interesting ways of showing the lab. But I was looking for something new. Inspired by the timeline charts... Read more »

Quantum Microbiology--Things Get Interesting When They Get Small

Everything is getting smaller. Google has announced that it has created a quantum computer, the Holy Grail of techies. While the computer itself is a massive energy suck, the computational power is lodged in subatomic particles. I don’t understand the science, but I know those subatomic particles must be pretty, pretty, pretty small. In the... Read more »

Our Lab Professionals Trump Our Lab Processors

Our histology microwave unit gave out yesterday. Oversimplifying a bit, the instrument removes processing chemicals from our tissue biopsies and replaces it with paraffin wax. This wax infiltrated tissue is then thinly cut by our histology technologists, placed on glass slides, stained, and then turned over to the pathologists to make a diagnosis. So when... Read more »