At work


Hemagglutination assayVacuum bottle

People tend to get confused when I tell them I test condoms for job. Sounds like a joke or a neat job description of a prostitute. Yet, that is what we do – we measure latex allergen levels on different latex products like gloves and condoms.

It is well known that having to wear latex gloves for extended period is likely to cause some allergic reaction. As condoms are mostly made of latex, they too are likely to cause allergic reaction.

I once asked curiously at  HIV clinic whether guys have been complaining over condom rash or allergenic reactions. The nurse said she could not remember any guys complaining. And then, after a long pause, she commented ‘..but women have sometimes complained’. For a moment I was surprised, but after consulting with a colleague it made more sense – while a guy can stick his dick in a sink and potential allergens are easily washed off, then girls are designed to capture all sorts of things that have been delivered there (otherwise they would not get pregnant) so the allergens have longer time to cause trouble.

colorful test tubes

As I am the biggest photo-maniac in the company, I was asked to take some photos, some portraits and some of details around at the lab.

A girl and her multi-channel pipetteHead of laboratory in action

This last photo was taken by Anne while I was on my way down from top of the fridge.

To tell more about testing condoms, here is a photo I found on some site. Looks like a device which could be sold as regular athletic equipment or home appliance. It sure gave me very weird ideas.


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