I recently got into using a microscope thanks to my sister, Susan, who I’ve mentioned in some of my past posts. She got me one as a present for my birthday, and boy, am I excited to get the most of it. I’ve watched some tutorials on how to use the model I’ve received and I’ve read the instructions that were provided by the manufacturer. From what I gathered, I can use the product for seeing all sorts of tiny things. This could come in handy for me because I’ve been a coin collector ever since I was five. Of course, given that the model that Susan has given me is somewhat professional, I find it a bit difficult to use it for this application, but it’s still manageable.
My daughter is starting to develop a passion for biology, as well. However, because she’s too young to study it properly, I thought that I’d show her how various substances or solutions look under the microscope. I bought some glass and plasticware to use at home, and something I’ve noticed is that I prefer the glass ones. I have to say that they’re considerably more expensive compared to their plastic counterparts, which, in most cases, are disposable. Nonetheless, I see that the way various solutions interact with the glass structure of a container of any size is, in my opinion, better overall. What I mean by this is that, if I pour a hot liquid into a glass container, I won’t have to bear any unpleasant smell.
Despite the fact that I have no intention of sterilizing the containers for now as I won’t be doing any serious science-related experiments, I have read a bit about the process, in general. From what I found, it appears that most cheap plastic containers can’t be used in an autoclave because they’ll melt. In that case, I simply ask myself why biologists and other scientists still use them. I guess that, in busy labs, plastic containers are a good choice because they can be disposed of, and that has to be convenient when you’re working with possible contaminants. Even so, I find that the expense of getting disposable products is a hassle to begin with, what with you having no means of getting your money back by using the containers over and over again.
Another thing that’s been on my mind is that, when my daughter was a baby, my wife always made sure to avoid buying plastic products. Glass ones are always BPA-free. In case you didn’t know, BPA is a harmful substance that was banned back at the beginning of 2000 because it was linked to problems in child development.
I’d like to hear other opinions on the matter both from scientists and from people who normally use plastic utensils in their kitchen and homes.