Lab Stock Photo Fail – Mad pipetting skills

More examples of laboratory stock photos – that try to show the exciting world of science, but that did not get all the details straight. In this post, I will focus on pipetting techniques. Or lack thereof.

Alternative pipette-holding strategies, advanced level:

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Tipless pipetting:

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Screenshot 2016-03-15 at 19.56.19No-Touch Pipetting – Let gravity do its work:

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The MultiDripper – 12 tips simply dripping with fun:

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Duo-pipetting is twice the fun:

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Precision pipetting around an airbubble:

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The Amazing Vacuum-Finger – no pipetman required:

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Lab Stock Photo Caption Contest

Continuing on the Lab Stock Photo theme, @GeorgeRocheMBA suggested that I should do a Caption Contest. And so I did last night. Stock photo available at Fotolia by AdobeFotolia by Adobe. Here are the results:

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These were all funny – hard to choose a winner. For me it’s a tie between KatMM’s “Nope still brown” and @Fjlapointe’s “Fecal Transplant”.

Captions for “Three scientists holding glassware with blue fluid”; stock photo found at CanStockPhoto, royalty free stock images.


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I liked @Victorleshyk’s Gargamel one!

Captions for some other photo’s

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Lab Stock Photo Fun – Three is a crowd

More fun with Laboratory stock photos. This time, I’ve picked another unrealistic subset of images – those showing lab workers working really, really close together. Uncomfortably close. Around one piece of glass ware or equipment.

Stock photos by Fotolia, 123RF, Shutterstock, Alamy, CanStock, ColourBox.

“At least three scientists and one colored liquid”:

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Here is a special variant: “At least three scientists, each with a different color liquid”

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“At least three scientists and one computer”

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“At least three scientists and one microscope”. Bonus points if colored liquid present.

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“At least three scientists, one microscope, colored liquids, and one shiny lab bench”

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“At least three scientists and one HazMat suit”.

“Sorry, we have only one HazMat suit for the three of you. But feel free to stand really close to this Ebola culture.”

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Lab stock photo fun – The Pink Tube Collaboration

A nice series of stock photos from Shutterstock/123RF, featuring three smart scientists spending their afternoon looking at a tube filled with pink fluid. Or, as Shutterstock called it, “Three shocked scientists looking at the obtained substance expressing intense emotions”. Here we go:

“Hello, I am a very smart scientist. Today I am pipetting this pink fluid. Not sure I have mastered pipetting, though. But I will keep on smiling.”



“Alright. I got my pink fluid in a glass tube. Now what?”


“I honestly have no idea what to do with this”.

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“Let’s ask my colleagues – they wear ties and safety goggles, so they should know”.

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“So guys, I have this pink tube – what do you make of it?”

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“Well, it’s a tube, and it’s pink and…” “OMG there is an airbubble – right there”

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“Oh, no, there’s another airbubble!” “This is aweful” “I’m so shocked!”

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“This will make a great stock photo for an article in the Guardian”

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“Now, let’s all switch glasses and look under the microscope. ”

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“Make the boss think we are busy.”

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“Boss’s gone. We can relax now”

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“That was fun. Shall we do it again with a red fluid?”

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There was some discussion online today about a stock photo showing a woman in a purple shirt holding a soldering iron – at the heated element. See discussion at Tech.Mic. Here is the stock photo (on the right) and some similar ones, all from the Tech.Mic website.



I guess these stock photo companies put some not very tech-savvy models in a lab and let them play with equipment, while the photographer circles around them. “Make love to the camera, baby!”

I bet there are tons of similar pictures in the laboratory realm. So I took a look at Alamy Stock Photos, and sure enough, there were some nice examples. Let’s call them #LabStockPhotoFail. They’re not all Fails, but let’s say that some are just very far removed from regular labwork.

“This is the Tipping Point”

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“Tips are so overrated”

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“My Gel is not Well”

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“I love pipetting with my coworkers standing uncomfortably close to me” (and what the heck is that 10ml pipette on the right doing with the fluid level at 8 ml?)


“Safe and accurate pipetting techniques”

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“Back in the lab after the long weekend”

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“Coffee break during gel loading”