I work in a lab, leave the drinks to me

Dangerous as it may sound, it’s not. I’m sure you all know someone who tells you things about their job and you know where they work and lots of things that happened there, but you don’t have any idea about what they actually do. Well, I’m definitely one of these people.

I’ve been talking about the laboratory and my master for one year now and last week I did my presentation, but I’ve never told you ― or even some lab mates ― about our research. It was no big deal, so I can explain it now and I’m sure everyone will understand it. Moreover, it’s sort of alcohol-related and you love this. We’ve developed a method to analyse polyphenols in wine by liquid chromatography. “Wow, Òscar, hold your horses! So much for something anyone can understand.”

Polyphenols: Substances like those in the picture with those rings and –OH bound to them.
Chromatography: Simply put, solutions go through a column filled with small particles and the compounds in the solution move faster or slower, therefore got separated according to their affinity to the particles inside. Then you get a chromatogram like one of the three superimposed in the picture and there you find all the data you need.

It looks cool, doesn't it?

It looks cool, doesn’t it?

The thing was to get a proper chromatogram. We’ve developed the method to make the analysis, now they are working with a new student to prove that they can distinguish wines according to their characteristics (and they can). That could be useful for quality tests and stuff like this.

The fun part of the research were our wine parties. We couldn’t let the leftover wine samples go to waste, could we?


4 thoughts on “I work in a lab, leave the drinks to me

  1. Of course we couldn’t leave leftovers, this is wine! (even if it was Catalan)
    Thanks to your lab for those free parties. Science is great!

  2. Pingback: Birthdays anthology – 2 « Either a linguist or a chemist be

  3. Pingback: The chemistry of wine – 1 | Either a linguist or a chemist be

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