Out of the lab to the top of the world; Berkeley biophysicist relishes first ascents

One September evening in 1970, working alone in my chemistry lab in Latimer Hall, I was preparing nucleic acid for my final experiments for my Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry. The lab was quiet except for the repetitive tick of the spinning centrifuge. After finishing the purification, to my horror, I knocked the vial onto the floor, where it shattered, the precious liquid lost.