• Question: hi have you ever had an illness from your work? and what was wrong? Ellie and Jamilia

    Asked by whjamandellie to Anil, Blanka, Cees, Emma, Mike on 2 Jul 2012.
    • Photo: Emma Trantham

      Emma Trantham answered on 2 Jul 2012:

      Thankfully no!

      We have to be really careful when we work with bacteria that are harmful to us which is why we wear gloves and a labcoat and we disinfect everythign after we’ve finished.

      Being this careful has meant (touch wood!) that I’ve never been sick from my work

    • Photo: Michael Cook

      Michael Cook answered on 2 Jul 2012:

      I have, of a sort! Three years ago I contracted RSI – which is a very painful inflammation of the tendons in your arm. One of the factors that causes it is typing too much, or in a bad position! For two weeks I couldn’t use my right hand at all – even typing three letters would cause it to seize up and just freeze for a few minutes. It was scary!

      Even now I have to take regular breaks from work to make sure I don’t hurt myself. We have four frantic live chats today, and my arm is beginning to hurt quite a bit. I might have to take a break soon!

    • Photo: Blanka Sengerova

      Blanka Sengerova answered on 2 Jul 2012:

      No, I haven’t been ill as a result of my work either. With biological materials in the lab, we have to be really really careful and follow all sorts of safety guidelines that we should be pretty safe. as Emma says, labcoat and gloves and safety specs are standard attire and for examples when I work with radioactively labelled DNA, I have to be behind a screen.