Micfac Rules

This list of rules is meant to identify the most egregious behaviors, but it cannot enumerate everything to ensure good citizenry in the community.  The Facility reserves the right to revoke a person’s certification should they repeatedly damage equipment, flaunt safety issues, or flaunt Facility procedures.

Policies for Self-Use

  • Microscope Facility users are not allowed to operate (or book) equipment without Facility staff supervision or certification.
  • Only active certified users (with no lapse in usage) can book equipment time.
  • Active certified users should not book equipment time on behalf of another.
  • Certification is specific for each instrument and is not certification for other instruments at the Facility.
  • Do not book more equipment time than needed.
  • Cancel booked time promptly, to allow others to use the equipment productively.
  • Special rules apply to laser-scanning confocals (Zeiss 700, 710NLO, 780FCS, 800, 880) and TEMs (Hitachi, Talos):
    • TEM or laser scanning confocal users can book no more than 10 hours a week of prime-time (Monday-Friday 9am-6pm).  Prime-time restrictions will be relaxed within 2 days of a vacancy.
    • TEM or laser scanning confocal reservations must be cancelled by 7pm of the prior day, or earlier.  Last-minute cancellations via the online calendar will no longer be allowed.
  • If equipment malfunction is proven to be responsible for an unproductive session, email microscopy@jhmi.edu and make a logbook entry describing the malfunction, thus informing both staff and subsequent users.
  • If there’s a long lapse in your equipment usage, you will not be allowed to book time. Read the usage lapse policy and contact us to reactivate your online access.

Equipment Use and Care

    • Do not swap accessories (e.g sample holders, stages, fluorescence cubes, microscope objectives) between microscope stations within the Facility.
    • 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.

Data Management

Because of finite capacity, we can only guarantee that data created in a rolling window of the last 3 months won’t get deleted from the Microscope Facility Server during cleanups. This window should be sufficient time for users to transfer their data onto their own storage devices elsewhere, while allowing enough space for storing new data. Operationally, you’ll see data files older than this window of time; Don’t get used to it: if things get crowded, we’d be deleting those files.

Laboratory Safety

  • Permitted are chemically-fixed pathogens (e.g. fixatives) for electron microscopy.
  • Advanced permission is required for the use of toxins. 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 Type
Office Waste coffee cups, food, used lens paper clear/black plastic bag
Sharps Waste coverslips, glass knives, glass slides, razor blades red 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.