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Refrigerator left everything ruined?? :( - (Dec/29/2010 )

I dont know how i managed to do this but i managed to obstruct the door of the refrigerator (probably some ice fell off and prevented it from closing completely) so that it was open about an inch wide for about 12-15 hours. When I came bak the next day, the things on the shelves on the door were pretty much at room temperature :( :( . The refrigerator still had a lot of ice in it and most of the things were surrounded by ice.

Im currently testing the antibodies but Im really concerned about the proteins and enzymes we use!! Do you think the proteins and antibodies which were on the shelf of the door have been completely ruined?? What about the ones which were still on ice?? We use some proteins like fibronectin to plate u think it is ruined if it was on the shelf of the door?? Ill try and plate some cells on it to see if it works....i really dnt kno how to test proteins which other ppl use! :( labmates and PI are all lovely ppl but I wudnt blame them if they kick me out of the lab for this one!! :( I dont even kno what to say to them wen they come bak!!


An inch wide hole caused the fridge (freezer?) to be at room temp? o.O

This happened to me too, not 12-15 hours but 3 weeks(!!), due to "mis-communication" between me, my labmates, and PI. On top of that, I made another big mistake (killed an S200 column). After apologizing to my PI and everyone in the lab (I wasn't kicked out), I guess how they understand it is that this kind of mistake is just something that happens (shit happens). What my PI said (and other veteran in this forum said) is make sure that you won't do it again.

Also before I leave lab, I always double check everything (make sure fridge/freezer doors are closed, no bunsen burner on, no lamp on, oven is off, microwave looks normal, etc)

If "room temp" is 4-8C (since this is winter) then I hope it's still ok since it's close to ice and all..


yeh.....stuff was a kinda warm.....if it was like a few hundred dollars worth of stuff i probably wudve gone forward to pay for it myself....but i dnt kno how im eva going to pay for all tht :(...its tough being a student already...its harder being a clumsy student!! :(

I kinda chek whether ive put everythin bak in the freezer....but i never figured tht i cud do tht since the door closes on its own!! :(....thnks for the suggestion tho....ive made a cheklist of things wich ill chek everyday before i leave!

It is cold outside but the lab is at about 20C.....


the proteins that are on ice are probably okay. the ones on the door should be checked. most proteins can handle room temperature for a period of time, depends on the protein and the conditions of storage (solution, dried, etc).


I agree with mdfenko. A similar thing happened in my lab, and it turned out everything was ok (at least nothing detrimental that we've noticed). Just keep it in mind if something doesnt work as it should that it may be necessary to buck up and buy a new stock.


Ditto the previous two responses. As for the enzymes, call the supplier and explain what happened. They might tell you that the stuff is OK. Some enzymes are OK with exposure to room temperature within a window of time. A similar thing happened in a lab I used to work in--with $8000 worth of real-time PCR kits in the 4C--but tech support told me that their tests showed that 8 hours' exposure to RT didn't diminish the activity of the enzymes or the probes.

-lab rat-