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This week I cleaned out a former colleague's lab bench to make room for someone new. Once I got started, the other people in the lab joined in. We cleared out solutions that were no longer sterile, called hazardous waste pickup to come get a bottle of diluted fixative, and recycled journal articles that can be stored as PDF files on a computer.

Before I knew it we were engaged in a time-honored tradition: team cleaning. It's a thankless job but hey, sometimes it just has to get done. As postdocs we are good at making the most of what's available and often hesitate to throw things away. We can fix a leaky gel box and polish the broken ends of a favorite piece of glassware. We can change the fuse in a platform rocker and troubleshoot any number of software problems on the lab's computer. But let's...

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