Time flies when you're having fun. I am convinced that I had so much fun from the middle of last term to the present that I actually time travelled into the future. OK. Maybe I'm not actually convinced, but I'm highly suspicious.
We have done too much for me to update in detail. So I have decided to bring you up to speed by summing it up and then presenting some photos.
First! I have CONFIRMED my summer term coop work experience will be in the Stedman Lab at PSU!!!! In case you didn't catch the blog about this lab, THIS is the lab that is doing work with the virus of a thermoacidophile I became interested in last fall. I am so excited to be working with the people in this lab. The experience will be invaluably beneficial and I am going to learn so much. There's even a road trip to collect sample in the field. I don't think I was even this excited when I turned sixteen and got my first driver's license.
What else happened? It pretty much went like this:
Everyone got sick and then shared it with everyone else again
Blood, Sweat, and Tears
Heavy chains and light chains
A really awesome Instructor who talked me off of a ledge a time or two
Welcoming a new instructor who has a mountain of knowledge and experience
Fantastic lab/classmates to learn from and laugh with
Preparing for doing a Western blot
It looked a lot like this:
The Twins. The column pump and the UV monitor for our fractions.
Speaking of our fraction collector, here it is all loaded up and ready to go.
Judging by the Diesel Tech Program blue coveralls, the lab coat of choice for our labmate Derrick, that's his hand. Actually, we had a bit of help from him and his lab partner.
IRL example of an Industry CAPA flowchart from Quality Systems, our GMP class.
Uh, I'm not entirely sure if I mentioned it above but we did a couple of Bradford Assays. Here's one that my lab partner is working on fastidiously.
No. We did not skip class to go to a fair and play in the funhouse mirrors. This is a picture of dialysis tubing containing our sample, submerged in buffer. I believe that in this dialysis we were removing salt from our sample. That precipitant that looks like an overeburdoned snowflake (let's go with that description), mysteriously hovering near the top of the sink is actually some of the NaCl we were attempting to dispose of in the buffer.
So, the first week of immunochem was devoted to making solutions. The lab was titled, 1001 Amazing Solutions to make that will Impress Your Friends. Ok. It wasn't actually called that, but I kind of think it should have been. :)
Here's another dialysis example. Funny story behind this one actually. The sample held inside this tubing is our supernatant after a centrifugation step in which we were to discard the supernatant, resuspend the pellet and then dialyze that (since that's where the protein should have been according to the protocol) flow sheet. I missed that bit though and we dialyzed our super. Once I realized my mistake, my lab partner told me to get it out of her sight because of course, I didn't realize until the end of the class period. I obediently disposed of the supernatant pictured above. As luck would have it, a couple of groups a step ahead of us were finding that the protein was actually in the supernatant and they were having to go back and repeat that step, this time dialyzing their super instead of the resuspended pellet. LIFE LESSON LEARNED: NEVER THROW ANYTHING AWAY during a purification until after you have finished the purification and verified your results, published the paper, and apparently celebrated your 65th birthday, no matter what the protocol or your lab partner says. (Is this how hoarding starts?)
So then, my lab partner banned me from our protein purification experiment.
Just kidding. I actually doodled these while listening to what I think has to have been the best guest lecturer I've ever heard in my entire academic careeer.
At some point, it was St. Patrick's Day since I apparently did this to one of our dogs.
Apparently, it was also Easter at some point becuase my lab partner got a lovely shot of me partaking of the festivities.
Mini Prep plasmid precipitation (or possibly the cell debris). If you're a student considering a biotech program, they totally save the best classes for last! This is the good stuff!!!
My favorite lab so far: These are LB Agar plates with Kanomycin. We were selecting for +pGLO (Kan resistant) E. Coli bacteria.
I believe that about brings us up to speed. Tomorrow in Immunochem we will be running our first western blot. Good times. Good times.