The following are some of the typical questions asked about our products and services.
Semen Storage Dilemma:
Why are Koolatrons from other retail outlets not suitable for semen storage?
Koolatron manufactures a variety of models in their storage units. Other retail outlets provide products designed to heat or cool 40° F above or below ambient (environmental) temperature. As the ideal semen storage temperature is between 16° and 18° C this particular model is not very effective. Until late 1996, Koolatron manufactured and marketed its P34B model. This version had a dial with which the temperature of the unit could be set to a fair degree provided that the ambient temperature was relatively constant. This unit was quite effective, but unfortunately has been discontinued. Please check our Products page for information about different types of semen storage units.
Is a storage unit with an external digital display not better than the one without?
Not necessarily. Quite often the thermostat which is connected to the digital display is separate from the thermostat which operates the cooling/heating elements of the storage unit. It is, therefore, quite possible that one particular thermostat is off, thereby resulting in an erroneous display. Even if both are working properly a thermometer placed inside the storage unit may still differ 1° to 2° C with the display temperature. Always keep a high quality functional thermometer inside the unit for temperature spot-checks.
The temperature in my semen storage unit increases quite a bit when new semen is added to the unit. What is wrong?
First and foremost, check the temperature of the semen being added to the unit. If you add 20 or 30 bottles of warm semen, the storage unit can not instantly cool these bottles to 17° C. This will occur gradually during storage. Before newly added bottles are cooled completely the temperature in the unit will temporarily increase. To minimize the effect of this temporary increase, unused semen should be placed in a styrofoam box or insulated envelope until the unit returns to its normal operating temperature. Remember that frequent opening of the storage unit's door can also raise or lower the inside temperature if the outside temperature is relatively high or low. Use extra caution with extreme temperatures and open the storage unit as little as possible.
I cannot find anything under my microscope. What is wrong?
Generally speaking, the problem is fairly simple. Either the objective lenses are dirty, the microscope is out of focus or there is too much light illuminating the sample. If none of these appear to be the case, talk to your microscope supplier.
How can I clean the lenses on my microscope?
Use a Q-tip, soft lint-free cloth or lens paper with either some water or special lens cleaner solution. Do not, under any circumstances, use a household window cleaning solution. These solutions can damage the seals resulting in lenses which are out of alignment causing image difficulties when using your microscope. Gently clean the lens in the eyepiece and on each of the objectives. Do not try to clean the inside of any lenses, leave it for someone with more experience instead. Store the microscope away from dust and always use the dust cover when the microscope is not in use. This should reduce dust problems significantly.
How do I use a microscope?
Your microscope usually has 3 or 4 different objectives. Magnification increases as the number on the objective increases. This also means that as you increase your magnification, you reduce the field of view (area which you can see at any one time). In order to focus the microscope you should start with the smallest objective. The microscope should provide you with a lever or knob with which you can adjust the intensity of the light. With a small magnification you need very little light to illuminate the sample. As the magnification is increased you may need to increase the light as well. Avoid using too much light as this will make it very difficult to find the sperm cells; they become "washed out" and appear to be absent. Place your slide with cover-glass so that one edge of the glass is lined up in the middle of your viewing area. Gently adjust the coarse focus until you see the edge of the glass appear. Use the fine focus to make this edge appear as clear as possible. Make sure the edge is in the middle of your viewing area before going up to the next magnification. When you increase the magnification adjust only the fine focus until the line appears again. Once you are at the proper magnification, and the edge appears clear, the slide can be moved so that the sample is in the viewing area. Remember: when you are looking through the microscope you are seeing a mirror image of the sample. If you wish to move the sample to the left in the viewing area, the slide itself must be moved to the right.
Why can I not see anything with the 100R objective?
The 100R objective is an oil objective lens. In order to use this objective you must use oil immersion. This requires special oil and cleaning procedures. Talk to your supplier for more information.