For nanobiologists, pipetting is a standard part of their research. Nanobiologists work at the level at which individual atoms and molecules can be observed. And pipetting is sucking up liquid with a tube to transfer it to another place. On Saturday afternoon, 276 nanobiology students gathered in the atrium of the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam. They had one goal in mind: to transfer fifty milliliters of water per person from one container to the other with a pipette within five minutes. 264 succeeded – enough to set the world record for simultaneous pipetting. With this event, study association SVNB Hooke wanted to make their study more known in the Netherlands.
There was no previous attempt for the pipetting world record. Guinness World Records set the bar at 250 participants. Mainly nanobiology students, their families (the record attempt took place immediately after the family day of the study association) and a few people interested in the field were present.
In the lab, nanobiologists use pipettes that can be adjusted down to the microlitre. This is necessary to analyze very specific reactions. To keep the event accessible, the study association opted for the simpler Pasteur pipette, says Jesse Poort, board member of the study association. Still, it wasn’t easy enough for everyone. “Nine participants spilled and were unfortunately disqualified from the record attempt,” says Poort, who also participated. Fortunately, he himself does not belong to that small group. “That would have been painful,” he laughs.
No one has a nanobiologist as a grandparent, so few are aware of the study
It is not surprising that the study still lacks name recognition. The field of study has been around for less than eleven years and the first students only graduated in 2017. Every year, about a hundred students start the programme, which TU Delft and Erasmus MC jointly facilitate. “Nobody has a nanobiologist as a grandparent, so few people know about the study,” says Poort.
When Poort is asked on a birthday what his study entails, he says: “We use technical knowledge to find out how the smallest forms of life, such as cells and DNA, work. This is how we learn to understand diseases. Only when you understand diseases can you think about solutions.”
Poort explains that graduates often move on to research. Because the study is not yet well known, companies are not queuing up for students with a nanobiology diploma. While students with such a multidisciplinary background are, according to him, both medical and technical, important for the future.
Guinness World Records will soon announce whether the record attempt has been approved.
#Simultaneous #pipetting #world #record #attempt #give #nanobiology #boost