GOOF UPS :crazy_face:
Ever heard of it? :roll_eyes:
Well, I heard this word 2 years back… :nerd_face:

What are GOOF UPS? :writing_hand:
When I asked this question to a fellow cubist…

This was the reply….
“Goof ups are mistakes which everyone (at least me) commits daily and most of the time these mistakes go unnoticed. From my point of view, goof ups happen when one attempts to do something, especially something new. If we see in today’s world, the mistakes or goof ups which one commits aren’t really appreciated. These mistakes are portrayed in such a manner that it discourages or brings the morale down of the doer.
In CUBE culture, we consider these mistakes as very important. So these mistakes tell us that something is really happening around us. And who knows that there will be a lot of unanswered questions or areas behind this something. For us, as researchers, the mistakes that we do & which we would be committing, would be of utmost importance, it would open something unexplored!!”

As Arunan sir says……”In Science, Positive results are not the only success stories. Many success arise from apparent failures or mistakes / Goof-ups, as in the story on discovery of Penicillin!”

We all are familiar with penicillin and its discovery…
Let’s go back and take a look…

Starting in the late 19th century there had been many accounts by scientists and physicians on the antibacterial properties of the different types of mould including the mould Penicillium but they were unable to discern what process was causing the effect. (No solution for a long time that means.)
The traditional version of this story describes the discovery as a serendipitous accident:
(What is serendipitous accident? Serendipity is the occurrence of an unplanned fortunate discovery.)

A goof up that opened up something unexplored as said by my fellow cubist!

Fleming noticed a Petri dish containing Staphylococci that had been mistakenly left open was contaminated by blue-green mould from an open window, which formed a visible growth. There was a halo of inhibited bacterial growth around the mould. Fleming concluded that the mould released a substance that repressed the growth and caused lysing of the bacteria.

The title of this site says:
Penicillin: An accidental discovery changed the course of medicine

How was Fleming described as? Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin!!!
Often described as a careless lab technician,
Fleming returned from a two-week vacation to find that a mold had developed on an accidentally contaminated staphylococcus culture plate. Upon examination of the mold, he noticed that the culture prevented the growth of staphylococci.

We all know this story very well…


By now, everyone must have understood what goof ups are.
Goof ups can be of 2 ways:

  1. Goof ups that can open up new questions to be addressed or new areas to be researched
  2. Goof ups that need to be rectified
    We celebrate both these goof ups.
    Goof ups can happen by anyone at any time.

Some examples of how goof ups are taken or portrayed in CUBE!!

Oyindril Dutta:
As I mentioned earlier, it was attacked by ants… So I discarded the banana slices, as the ants were causing a mess in the kitchen…
Arunan Sir:
Don’t you think just because there were ants, to throw the whole set up us a goof-up? And that has to be recorded because we can learn a lot from this?..

Aswathy CUBE Kerala:
Tomato :tomato: Rava :rice: Suger

  1. Took a frypan, add 1 spoon Rava, added 2 spoon water.
  2. Cook it low flame :fire:
  3. Add chopped tomato pieces, mix it well.
  4. Add 1 spoon sugar in the mixer. Mixed it well. Off it
  5. Took a Plastic bottle and add the mixed in to the bottle bottom.
  6. Just pressed it a spoon.
  7. Top add some Tomato pieces.
  8. Put in to the side of window.
    Prepared tomato :tomato: rava :rice:

Arunan Sir:
Amounts are missing! Can’t this be taken up as one of the normal goof-ups most newcomers in Science commit! Let’s highlight this and have a discussion on it
GREAT! Let’s celebrate!

Arunan Sir:
:+1: Such details are important if we want someone else to follow our method exactly the same way, to get ‘reproducible result’ Getting ‘reproducible result’ is the main point in Science and Technology! For that we require to give great importance to the DETAILS! @Charu Pritwani :+1::+1::+1: @Aswathy CUBE Kerala respond.

Arunan Sir:
:+1: Great! Let’s follow up like this. Let’s all work together to build up from all possible goof-ups and oversights!

This is how we discuss and approach the mistakes that we do while attempting to do something…


List of some goof ups that happened during the past 2 months by some of our fellow cubists.

:point_right: Making media for trapping flies!
:point_right: Keeping media as a bait for trapping flies
:point_right: Keeping an uncooked raw tomato slice on a cooked media that was supposed to be kept for maintaining and culturing the flies.
:point_right: Washing of the bait from the trap bottle because the bait turned liquid!
:point_right: No expectation and lack of anticipation!
Not observing and anticipation of what is to be OBSERVED and EXPECTED every day!!!
(Didn’t observe my bottles properly after 2 days for larvae and didn’t expect larvae the next day when gravid females after laying eggs on the same day!
There is a very high possibility that gravid fruit flies will lay eggs in the medium the same day they will be transferred which got ignored…)
:point_right: The fruit flies that were hatched from pupae of the tomato piece trap, many were dead yesterday (~ 15) as they weren’t transferred to a new medium, and additionally no water and dried up condition, that they might be have been dehydrated!
:point_right: After cooking the medium contents, transferring the media to clean bottles using spoon. So that caused the medium in the bottles to become uneven.

Add up more goof ups that you all have come across while working with your model organism!!


So, I have been associated with the Moina Model-System from July 2019.
Many Goof-ups have been done by me and well as my collaborators.
I will list the ones which I remember :grimacing:

  1. On the first day of my introduction to Moina as my research partner which was on 18th July 2019, I had made a bottle with 250mL of Dechlorinated Water + 1 drop of milk + ~10 Moinas and then I had fed milk to them.
    I thought that feeding milk just on the first day would be enough for them to survive, so I did not feed them the following days and gradually on the 4th day, there were no Moinas!!
    The reason was not feeding them!

    Then, I started feeding them daily.

    Two days back, while discussing each of us’ goof-ups, I shared this goof-up of mine to everyone and to my surprise, we found out that we can design an experiment on the basis of this goof-up!
    @Arunan Sir added that we can check the maximum number of days till which the Moinas can survive without being fed and also, we can have a comparison of the Moinas which are fed daily.
    We can compare the changes (if any) in their growth-curve, reproduction rate, etc.

  2. As we started building up some context on Moinas by doing assays like Red-Moina or observing for colour change and also even culturing, we came to know the importance of replicates!
    Replicates are just the same as the original bottle! Like a twin!
    Lack of replicates does not make up a good experiment. If we prepare just one bottle instead of preparing more bottles, then what would be the use of that!
    CUBE does not believe in keeping all the eggs in the same basket.
    That means, if we make just one bottle, there are chances that because of some negligence or mistake, the bottle can get disturbed!
    What if a cat comes and pushes the bottle down!?
    Our Moinas would be gone! So, replicates are important!
    On my first day also (as mentioned in the above point), I did not make replicates whose importance I have realised now!

  3. Earlier, while performing the Red Moina Set-up, we did not use to make Control bottles!
    What is Control?
    Control is something which is used to compare with the test!
    In our case, the control bottle would consist of say 250mL of Dechlorinated Water + 1 drop of milk daily + Moinas which we expect that the Moinas will remain colourless till the end of our experiment!
    And the test bottle would consist of 250mL of Dechlorinated Water + 6 drops of milk + Moinas which we expect that the Moinas will undergo a colour change say Yellow, Orangish-Red or Red!

    So how will we convince everyone that we have obtained colour-changed Moinas?
    By comparing the colourless Moinas from the control bottle and coloured Moinas from the test bottle!
    And also, having replicates in the Control and Test bottles need to be kept in mind while designing the experiment!

  4. Crying for lack of equipments!
    When we had started culturing, we used to culture the Moinas in plastic bottles. And when there were no bottles, we did not use to do the culturing!
    This, I think was a mistake or goof-up which was committed because the main motive of Collaboratively Understanding Biology Education is to make Science free and accessible to all!
    So that people don’t run away from work when there is a lack of something.

    If there are no plastic bottles, we can use glass beakers, if not glass beakers, then 50mL Falcon tubes and if that too is not available, then 2.5mL Eppendorf tubes or centrifuge tubes can also be used in culturing!
    Yes, we have done that!

    As @Arunan Sir says, "we should start our mobile camera as we use our kitchen knife! Precisely!.. and sharpen the knife whenever needed"
    Here, we can sharpen our photography skills by learning new techniques to handle our mobile camera for eg. adjusting the resolution!
    Using the mobile camera precisely would eliminate the need for Microscopes to some extent if we are working in our home lab!
    @edurafi Sir from HBCSE, TIFR, had introduced to us the FOLDSCOPE which can be termed as our pocket-microscope.

    Which means that the process of doing science and learning through it should not be halted!
    Whatever may be the circumstance!

  5. Goof-up of not reporting the Goof-up made by us!
    Are we courageous enough to highlight the mistakes done by us and report them in front of everyone?
    That too will add to the process of learning!
    And sometimes I wonder, are we learning something from the mistakes which are happening by us?
    We should Celebrate the Goof-ups as the title of this topic says, by discussing extensively on it and taking out positive as well as negative points which can be kept in mind the next time!

Let us show to the world that science can be done at our homes without the help of sophisticated instruments, equipment and brag them!

Focus on the idea of looking for alternatives!
Please add to this by creating a new thread!