July 2, 2008

Buehler? Buehler?

This morning, I met a geology undergrad at the department so that we could figure out together how to use their crappy little wafering saw. It was in sorry shape - the blade was nicked, it was damn near impossible to change out the water, and it was really not right for sectioning something as precision-worthy as two-millennia-old teeth. It's a tiny little gem saw, the kind that people who are way into geodes use to cut up rocks. After half an hour of fucking around with this thing, I gave up and resigned myself to spending $257 on a blade to use the dentist's saw.

Then I happened to stop by my advisor's lab to get the MNI of this skeletal collection I'm analyzing for him. Turns out, he has a super spiffy saw in his lab. I didn't see a blade attached to it, but he's convinced he has one somewhere. Which means... I can do all my sectioning at the bioarch lab! For free! Well, plus the cost of water, I suspect. The geochemist told me that I don't need milli-q water (simple distilled will work), but he suggested ultrasounding the blade in between teeth. I'm not yet sure what that means or how it would prevent cross-contamination. I do also need to buy some wax and plexiglass or some sort of stick so that I can attach the tooth to the stick and lower it onto the saw blade like the dentist showed me. But that can't cost too much.

So... who wants to learn how to section teeth with me?

1 comments:

Newell said...

Ooh! Sectioning teeth sounds fun!

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