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  • Writer's pictureAja Trebec

The curious case of the missing autoclave bag

A few weeks have passed since we started preparing for the oceanographic cruise at full speed. Planning, coordination, and endless groovy music playlists kept going on and on, starting with the sunrise and finishing late in the afternoon. Primary production material – check, cytometry, and microscopy material – check, filtration stations – check, and on and on we went revising, until we watched the boxes being taken away by an enormous net and transferred onto the deck of the research vessel.

Two days into the cruise, the boxes have been emptied and the materials distributed in different parts of the laboratories. Despite the sixteen hands involved in this process, Nauzet came to ask me whether I knew where a special bag for the autoclave was. My mind turned grey followed by flashbacks of labeled drawers, but there was no trace of the autoclave bag.

We placed it into the box number 13. Except that now, box 13 only had bubblewrap, the one that most of us pop to release stress. After turning the lab upside down and checking all the corners for the fourth time, I surrendered. It must be Murphy’s law, there is no other explanation of where the bag went.

Though I said I surrendered, the frustration continues to boil, and something tells me it will cease only in the last days of our ocean experience, when we will no longer need an autoclave bag and all the analyses will be over. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

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