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Top Tip: How to use live semen with digital microscopes and SmartBoards

microscope image of live boar semen

This Top Tip comes from Tamara Daus, Science Operations Officer at Kingston State High School, in August 2013.  Thank you, Tamara!  This is a specimen we don’t see enough of in schools and the collective wisdom of lab techs is the best source of info for others to learn from.
microscope image of live boar semen microscope image of live boar semen
images courtesy T Daus

Semen from Dissection Connection, new digital microscope… Movies worked really well too

I’m taking the semen into the first Year 8 classes tomorrow. We’ll be able to have the digital microscope up the front with the image on the SmartBoard for the whole class to see, and then the groups will be able to use their own microscopes to focus and check out their own slides.

Thanks Miss Vivi J

Got a Top Tip you are willing to share with other techs? Have a squeal to Miss Vivi and see your name in lights.

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Top Tip: How to defrost brains for dissection in 1 hour

sheep brain for dissection

This Top Tip comes from Patricia Hugman, Senior Laboratory Technician at St Joseph’s College Toowoomba.  Thank you, Patricia!  This is something we get asked all the time and the collective wisdom of lab techs is the best source of info.

sheep brain for dissection mmmm...... brains!

Have you ever wondered how long it would take to defrost … brains for dissection?

I found the following method for defrosting brains to be very effective & efficient

To defrost brains ‘al dente’ in 1hr

1.       Straight from freezer

2.       Place brains in packet in suitable container & cover with water (4 litre icecream container works well) sitting ‘flat’ not ‘end on’

1pkt/ container defrosts faster that 2 in one container

3.       @20min – Change water

4.       @40min – discard water, remove brains from packet, sprinkle liberally with salt, just cover with water

5.       @50min – gently separate brains, being careful of brainstem/medulla

6.       @60min – carefully remove individual brains, pat dry with paper towel and ‘serve’ to students!

On a nice summer’s day (25deg C) this timing worked a treat. Producing brains that were still firm but not icy.

Sitting on the bench (in air) produced irregular defrosting >4hr

Got a Top Tip you are willing to share with other techs?  Have a squeal to Miss Vivi and see your name in lights.

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No Chemical Preservatives

Dissection Connection 100% Chemical Free specimens

Dissection Connection 100% Chemical Free specimens

We believe Lab Technicians and science Teachers are subjected to enough chemical exposure during their career as it is.  Students, too, deserve to learn in an environment that limits their chemical exposure to those experiments that require the use of chemicals in a controlled and safe manner.

The specimens supplied by Dissection Connection are 100% chemical preservative free.  No formalin, no glycol, no nothing.  The exception are the small intestines which are packaged in a solution of sterile 0.9% saline to prevent dehydration of the specimen.

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