Microfossil analysts frequently work with large numbers of test tubes filled with liquids that must be transferred into another set of tubes. If you accidentally decant or pipet materials from one sample into another, you can no longer be certain of the provenience of your microfossils, and the work is lost. There is, however, a quick and simple check that will prevent this problem.
Before decanting or pipetting from one tube to another, hold the tubes next to one another and “match” the provenience information. I realize that this advice sounds both overly simplistic and, when you are having a good day, unnecessary. A few seconds of checking, however, can save you from losing samples on days when you are tired or distracted, and those days do happen. Make this check a habit, and you will have one less thing to worry about during stressful times.
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