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Quarantine Blog: The broken machine

Posted on Monday, April 27, 2020 by for Quarantine Blog.

During my junior year of high school, my friend and I joined a SUNY Downstate lab, where we analyzed and compiled data. One day I noticed that one of the tests looked extremely strange. Being new to the lab, I was hesitant to notify the professor so I shared the error with my friend. We thought we were simply mistaken in our analysis, however, as new batches of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) arrived we noticed the same trend. At that point, we brought the issue up to our professor who then instructed us to figure out what went wrong. After some digging, we found that the microplate reader used to analyze the Griess assay was broken and was why we were getting strange results. My and my partner's realization ended saving the lab a lot of time by preventing them from continuing to use a broken machine.

Inexperienced or not you can still contribute.

Daniel Drozdov (Class of 2020)

Printed data table with handwritten annotation
Strange data