You are here

Halfway through, but still far to go

This week, further preliminary experiments for the solar simulator have been conducted. Originally, the intention was to use an open circulating water bath to keep the temperature constant. However, after a few leaks and spills, a closed water bath will be used, with copper tubing to transmit the difference in temperature. So far, the temperature of the bath seems to be fairly constant but the bath has not been run for long enough periods of time to be able to conclusively identify the effectiveness of this technique. Other than that, most of the other elements of the experiment have finally been worked out in time for a full run next week.

The phytoplankton experiment has had both advances and setbacks. On Friday, during a group discussion, more instruments to identify the number of phytoplankton and the effects of metformin on phytoplankton have been identified. However, it has been found that the phytoplankton are growing at levels that are too dense to accurately measure with these instruments. Due to the high density, the exponential phase of growth may be only a few hours. We have decided to reduce the size of the loading dose, and sample from a more recently started culture to expand the length of the exponential phase. There are plans to spike the samples next week with the chemicals.

Next Monday, the interns will all be on a trip to Bonneville dam, but Tuesday, I will run a full trial of the photodegradation experiment. After all, experience is the best teacher.