He held up a little glass vial that appeared to envelop a faint coating of dust. It almost looked like someone had just scratched up the inside of the vial with a metal pick.
He informed me that this compound he had painstakingly isolated could be bought from a chemical supply company for hundreds of dollars a milligram.* The amount of dust he had collected inside that little vial would be worth $17,000!
He joked that if he did this part time, he could afford to hire a postdoc.
"Or just go buy a car!"
"Not a great one..."
*1 gram = 1,000 milligrams