Thursday, 18 October 2012

Lab Coats – Whiter than white

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I am always impressed when I pop down to the lab at Lorne. Apart from the fact that there is some genuine and impressive science-type activity going on (compared to what I do day to day), I have always marvelled at just how white everyone’s lab coats are. Perhaps it is the domestic side of me that kicks in (what washing powder are they using?), because I can never manage the same with my own shirts or socks.

So, I was somewhat surprised to find out this week that lab coats were not originally white. As it turns out, the interesting laboratory-based fact that has been doing the rounds on the internet recently is that lab coats were originally black in color. It seems that this was out of respect for the cadavers that were used in medical research when such activities were still in their infancy. It might also have been a domestic matter too – how did they get those stains out in the nineteenth century?

But at least the modern trend sits comfortably with the rest of the laboratory experience. There is something of a white theme going on – laboratory fridges, laboratory freezers, storage cabinets, laminar flow cabinets – you name it – they all seem to look the part with their clean white exteriors. The other surface that dominates in the Lorne lab is glass. Even some of the walls are made of glass. And, of course, some of the marvellous new laboratory fridges and freezers have glass doors.

Even if you did not manage to see one of new range of Lorne laboratory and blood bank fridges and freezers at BBTS, you can always drop us an email and we can share some information with you ( And if you do happen to see me at next year’s BBTS, I can let you know just what detergent we use to achieve that wonderful clean look.

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