The chemist as a Pokémon trainer: sampling

It’s not the first appearance of chemistry or Pokémon in this blog; it is, nevertheless, the first time they meet in a single post.

Have you ever wondered where the samples that chemists analyze come from? And I’m not talking about that piece of fabric from the murderer’s jacket in CSI; I mean the ones that environmental chemists analyze, for example. We work with water, sediments, aquatic animals and birds…

This is me looking for salmon

This is me looking for salmon [source]

The issue about our samples is that they can’t be acquired at the supermarket; but they need to be collected from their natural location. Although that’s not completely true. This week I bought some salmon samples; except the shop assistant didn’t know those were samples she was selling and not food.

As I was saying, some scientists put on an overall and knee-tall boots—or rubber overalls that include the boots—and get in bushes and get wet up to the waist in rivers or set off to weird spots like the Antarctica. Sometimes they just want to fill a jar with water, sometimes they want to find a specific species of fish.

Those are the kind of samples that are hard to catch and, although you try to catch ‘em all, you’ll fish a dozen magikarps before you get a dratini.


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