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Done using the uFCM.....I think (Week 7)

This week, I began by running samples from the Beaver Army Terminal through the uFCM and compared it with FlowCAM as I ran it in connection with one another. I ran the uFCM at different sampling rates (5000k and 10000k) to try to resolve the peak definition. I also had to filter the water first with a 100um filter net so that the larger particles wouldn’t clog the uFCM flow cell. The first sample from the BAT was a bit old as it had been sitting in the cold room for a little over a week. This sample had tons of dirt in it and all of the organisms were dead and clumped together. Estefania was going to collect new samples later this week from the Beaver Army Terminal, so I decided to wait until those arrived. Using a fresh sample should give a better data set and it should be easier to identify what is causing the signals in the uFCM. After running the new sample, I think that I am done using the uFCM and FlowCAM. The rest of the weeks of my internship, I will be analyzing the output data to find correlations between the uFCM voltage readings and particle characteristics to produce some quantitative results using the LabVIEW program that I have been writing.
I also worked on LabVIEW program a bit more. I looked into the FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) icon. It is supposed to perform well with analyzing time domain signals, such as the voltage readings from the uFCM. It is also hard to verify the accuracy of the peak detectors, so I spent some time manually counting the peaks in a very small subset of the data.
I also exported all of the FlowCAM data files for each water sample that has been tested and did some analysis on it to compare with the uFCM. I looked at the diameter, length, width, and aspect ratio data columns instead of dealing with the entire 45 columns of data. A lot of the other columns deal with optical measurements and pixel intensities, and those aren’t relevant when comparing to the uFCM. In excel, I binned the data into their respective bin range and produced histograms (graphs that display frequency/intensity) for each measurement for each sample. I also calculated percentages from these to show what percentage of the total is in which range.
On Wednesday, the interns took a little field trip and took a tour of the main campus of OHSU on “the hill.” We got to hear about some of their ongoing research as we visited three of their labs. We also learned about some of their graduate school programs, other things that they had to offer students, and took a tour of the children’s hospital. Lastly, we had the opportunity to ride the tram that connects the buildings below to the buildings on “the hill.” It gave a great view of Portland and the waterfront.
To round out the end of the week, I attended another brown bag seminar titled “Graduate Student Perspectives on Graduate School.” The title is pretty self-explanatory. We heard from a wide range of students with different backgrounds as they shared their thoughts about their academic journeys. It was relevant for a lot of interns because many are going to be seniors who will be applying to graduate school.