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Rules of the Microscope Facility

This list of rules is meant to identify the most egregious behaviors, but it cannot enumerate everything to ensure good citizenry in the community. Please try to be a good member of the community.

  • Microscope Facility Equipment Use and Care:

    Unless specifically certified by the Microscope Facility staff, users are not allowed to operate (or reserve) equipment without Facility staff supervision. Certification is specific for each instrument and is not certification for other instruments at the Facility.

    Do not swap accessories (e.g sample holders, stages, fluorescence cubes, microscope objectives) between microscope stations within the Facility. These accessories are reserved off-site and will be installed by a Facility staff person.

    If you used immersion objectives, please clean the lens with lens cleaner and lens paper -- never with Kimwipes or with an ammonia-based cleanser.

  • Borrowing Equipment or Accessories:

    On very rare occasions and circumstances, equipment or accessories may be borrowed from the Facility for a maximum of 24-hours at no charge. Subsequent time will accrue fees. Removal of equipment or reagents from the Facility without authorization from a Facility staff person is forbidden and grounds to revoke user certification.

  • Reservation Courtesy:
    Some instruments such as the confocal microscopes are extremely busy, so please don't reserve more time than you really need.

    Special rules apply only to the Zeiss laser-scanning confocals:
    • Users can reserve no more than 10 hours a week of "prime-time" workday use. Prime time is MF 9-6.
    • Reservations must be cancelled by 7pm of the prior day, or earlier. Last-minute cancellations via webcalendar will no longer be allowed.

    If equipment malfunction is proven to be responsible for an unproductive session, we won't charge you for the unused time. Just remember to email and make a logbook entry describing the malfunction, thus informing both staff and subsequent users.

    Please be on time for your microscope reservation. If you do not keep your reservation, your lab will be charged a "no show" penalty of $80.

  • Laboratory Safety:

    Permitted are chemically-fixed pathogens (e.g. fixatives) for electron microscopy.

    Advanced permission is required for the use of toxins (email ). Once permission is obtained by the Facility, the user must record the name of toxin (and concentration) into the microscope logbook so that subsequent users can notify responsible parties should additional traces be discovered.

    Not permitted are radioactive material and live pathogens (e.g. bacterial, microbial, or viral). We have no biosafety cabinets, and hence no clearance from OSEH for either.

  • Laboratory Waste Disposal:

    Basic Guidelines for Laboratory Waste Disposal
    Type of Waste Example Container Description
    Office Waste coffee cups, food, used lens paper clear or black plastic bag
    Sharps Waste coverslips, glass knives, glass slides, razor blades plastic container for sharps
    Biohazard Waste pipette tips, media bottles, tissue culture dishes (growth media must be bleached at least 5 minutes and decanted into laboratory sinks before discarding dishes into biohazard boxes) biohazard box with red bag
    For a comprehensive detail of these guidelines, refer to the Johns Hopkins Safety Manual, Policy Number HSE 805.

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