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Widespread Contamination and Exam 1 Week
Submitted by Jennifer Newsted on Sat, 10/20/2012 - 12:32pm
This week Jennifer's classwork takes it's toll on outside activities, decontamination continues, and we learn about YOLO and safety goggles.
What a challenging week. It was Exam 1 week for ALL of our classes. I'm pleased to report I got an A in my Basic Lab Technique written and practical exams (woohoo metric conversion redemption!). The rest of the exams are not graded or back yet. It's a safe bet that I did okay on them. Okay isn't good enough for me though.
Eighteen term units is pretty serious and is requiring a healthy amount of my time. As a volunteer co-captain of the pep squad and former skater with Rose City Rollers I'm going to have to curtail my involvement until school is over. When I have a real job with insurance I'll go back to skating. Until then, as much as I love the Rose City Rollers community and family, my presense, sadly, will be nil. It appears, I may have over committed myself once again. This time though, I'm not going to get out of my science class!
Recently, I began looking at companies and research institutions with the intent of getting an idea of where I would like to do my summer internship. Since grant writing happens at this time of the year, maybe I can get a paid internship. Right now I'm fascinated with microbiology, specifically bioremediation and counteracting bioterrorism. I was able to reach one of the researchers at PSU whose lab is doing fascinating work in microbiology. Carefully reading the website I was disappointed to realize I didn't meet the criteria for undergrad students working in the lab. Did I let that stop me? Of course not! Although I do not meet the requirements, the reputation of the capabilities of students from PCC's Bioscience Technology program is so well received among the community that they are willing to meet with me anyway! That speaks volumes for our instructors and staff at PCC; we really are very lucky.
Our pride in our program has even inspired us to start a Bioscience Technology club. Well, our pride in our program, and our desire to have science-y program hoodies.
The contamination of cells in our cell culture class is widespread. The entire class decontaminated the cell culture room again on Thursday. This time, there was even a mop involved. Next week we will be getting our CHO (Chinese Hamster Ovary) cells. (Fingers crossed.)
We were able to obtain some canine blood from the veterinary technology program. We used it to split the white blood cells from the red blood cells. We practiced cell counting using a hemocytometer. It's a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. They're nearly impossible to see and it's ridiculously easy to lose track of your count, even using a counter. Tricky.
In basic lab tech, we got familiar with our pH meters. We covered the do's and don'ts for proper handling and calibration. We also experimented with HEPES and NaOH to test the buffering capacity of the HEPES. (Nerd alert!!) It was so fun!
I would greatly appreciate any suggestions of labs I should look into for my internship, especially if they're bioremediation or microbiology labs. Also, if there are any students that want to share what they're specifically interested in pursuing after their programs I would love to hear about it too!
Lastly, here's a safety funny that was circulating this week.I got a giggle out of it. Don't make Carol's mistake!