Published On: Fri, Jan 29th, 2016

Behind The Scenes At A Top Science Laboratory

Every day, scientists are working around the clock to find a cure for ‘incurable’ diseases. They’re coming up with new inventions, and changing the world (what did you do today?) It’s a fascinating field, and the prospect of discovery is tangible and exciting. But, what exactly goes on behind those closed, quarantine doors? In this post, we’re investigating what happens in a top science lab. Whether it’s working on health care, space exploration or biology, there’s something intriguing about this world. We decided to take a deeper look.

Laboratory Experiment

The first thing you notice when stepping foot near a top science lab is the intense focus on health and safety. There are no risks taken when it comes to this department. Protocol is strict and enforced across the board. It all starts with clothing, with labs enforcing a dress code of lab-coats, goggles, and safety gloves. Long hair is tied back, jewellery is generally not permitted, and a full scrub is often required. Of course, every institution is different. But, when dealing with bio labs or health care systems, things are incredibly strict.

It goes without saying that the equipment is the latest in high-tech innovation. Most of the equipment is funded by government or business grants, and operates at the edge of human expertise. Equipment can include centrifuges, fluorometers, and ultra-low temperature freezers. This lab equipment requires extensive training and understanding to operate. It doesn’t come cheap either, so all scientists are very careful when operating the machinery.

Of course, one thing we all want to know about is the discoveries. What is like behind the scenes when scientists come across that ‘eureka!’ moment? Unfortunately, the reality isn’t quite as exciting as some films might make out! Naturally, there are plenty of successful experiments and positive steps. However, big discoveries often takes years (or decades) to come along. Most scientists will tell you that the big ‘eureka’ moment happens only once or twice a life time. Still, it’s exciting to work towards something that could change the world .

For every day spent in the lab, there is another day spent writing grants and submitting proposals. Scientific discovery isn’t exactly a lucrative business (unless you work in pharmaceuticals). So, in order to keep the lab operational, scientists must submit proposals to the relevant authorities. Government grants and business sponsorships are what keeps the doors open. It takes a fantastic proposal to land the money, so a lot of time is spent fleshing out the submissions.

A similar amount of time is spent writing up reports. At the end of each experiment, every piece of data must be securely written down and reported. As we mentioned before, the journey to discovery may take over a decade. That requires hundreds of detailed reports and analysis along the way. If you’re looking for a career in the field, expect to spend a lot of time writing up tables of information!

Despite everything, there is an air of excitement bubbling inside every lab. The potential for discovery is exciting, and drives everyone’s work. It’s a fascinating place to spend time.