You are here

Week 2

So it is only Tuesday and yes, I have indeed broken my first piece of glassware in the lab... It was bound to happen, but I was hoping it would be when the lab was completely empty. Instead, the loud shattering sound was enough to bring everyone out of their offices to see what equipment had been destroyed. After cleaning up the mess, I moved on with my day, glad to have gotten that out of my system once and for all.

Other that the glassware incident, this week has gone by relatively smoothly. I am working with Craig to continue a lot of the experiments that I learned how to do last week, as well as gain some new knowledge and insight into what kind of experiments we will be taking on in the future.

This week, tetrazolium was added to the MPN plates to show what cells are using the medium to survive. Tetrazolium acts as an analogue of a glycolysis intermediate, so cells take it up and wind up exhausting themselves because they are running through all of these cellular processes, but gaining no energy. Cells that take up the tetrazolium, in solution, die, and the solution turns a pink red color. The growth plates were also recounted, for CFU's, and the data was compiled in excel. Next, I learned how to extract DNA from cells with a kit, and spent the rest of the day removing DNA from cells. This is an important process that I will probably be using frequently in this lab. Later in the week I learned how to use and set up for a PCR reaction, as well as make and run DNA through agarose gels. This was very interesting. Making the mixtures that will be added to the DNA was fairly simple and uneventful. The results from the two PCR reactions we performed were successful and yielded great results, so it looks like I will be doing many more of these to come. On Friday I will be re-running all of our samples through PCR again, this time with an undiluted 1 in 10 diluted, and a 1 in 50 diluted sample to see if dilutions improve movement through the gel. Today I am just catching up on my blog and other tasks around the lab because we are taking a field trip to OHSU today to take a tour at 1. I am excited to get out of the lab for an afternoon and go downtown so I hope the trip goes as planned. Overall, it has been a great week in the lab and I feel like I am starting to get comfortable here and get a routine down. With a routine comes confidence, for me anyway, and I am excited to start feeling independent and confident in this lab. :) Basically, so far, so good.