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I got my first results! - Kinda... (Week 6)

I have almost generated all of the cell strains with which I will be conducting the LacZ assays on for the next few weeks. It feels great to finally begin to see the fruits of my labor. The only cell strain which isn’t done and frozen is one that was transformed from the troublesome pFS1 plasmid. More specifically it was the strain which was transformed into the ResD mutant, and had difficulty growing on the DSM media – taking an extra day to fully mature. Thus I was only able to get it to the single clone phase before the weekend. I should get a frozen strain of it before next week though and have them a ready to run the LacZ assays upon :).
I attempted to conduct a test LacZ assay, but the results were iffy. I am pretty sure, however, this was due to some errors I observed when I was conducting the various stages of the 3 day process and now that I have had some practice to get the kinks out, I will do much better when I get back in a week to conduct them for real. The test itself is pretty time consuming and doesn’t allow for a lot of error, so I will have to be on my toes when I am attempting to run 8 strains through at a time and doing all three days of work staggered over one another.   However, if I am successful, I should have all my data and a redundant back-up for conformation within two weeks of my return from vacation (I’m going to Disneyland next week with my girlfriend as a graduation gift from my parents). I’m hopeful everything runs smoothly and I am able to get all my results within this two week period since it will allow me to have it all ready to put into the report in time for the presentations on the 24th of August! Not sure what I will be doing the week following if I do get this done, since I will have completed all the work that Michiko is expecting from me a week earlier that the 10 weeks I am supposed to be with the program.   Maybe I’ll shadow other people in the lab or something.
Also, I went on a field trip to Bonneville Dam (with side stops at Multnomah Falls and the Vista House) on Friday this week. This was quite the fun day away from the lab and I really enjoyed getting the chance to bond with many of my fellow interns, since I haven’t really gone on any of the Field trips with them so far. Also, it was pretty fun seeing a large sturgeon and some lampreys latched onto the glass in the observation room :). Furthermore, I had no idea that the dam had so many avenues for allowing the fish to get through safely. Before the trip I thought they only had the fish ladder as a safe avenue, and also it was great to hear that there have been record numbers of fish traveling through the dam this year.