I’ve never really devoted an entire blog to my research, so I’d thought it be interesting to talk about what I do when I go into lab. Every week, I do something different, so here’s just a sampling of what I do; here’s what I did this Tuesday in lab.
9:00- Get into lab and go to my lovely cubicle. My cubicle is kinda my home away from home. I have a pair of flats to change into (if I decide my outfit looks better with sandals), a blanket (because the lab is always cold), a few tea and hot chocolate packets, and J.C. J.C. is my misfortunate bobblehead, belonging to a graduated Ph.D student, that sits on my desk; he has probably been beheaded four or five times. My friend Michael and I have repaired him with super glue, but to no avail. I plug in my computer.
9:05- Lab meeting! Another professor from Johns Hopkins is giving a lecture on new methods of statistical analysis.
10:30- Put on my lab coat and gloves. I check out how my cells are looking. If they are confluent, or the cells are starting to completely fill the plate, I pass (or transfer them) into a new dish. If there are a lot of dead cells, I refresh the media (aka take out the old media (a fluid that has all the nutrients and things that the cells need to grow) and put in fresh media). As I do this, I complete my lab duty of filling the ethanol bottles.
11:00 After I’ve passed and refreshed my cells, I go over to my graduate student and we discuss my current project and what are steps are going to be in the future. He gives me some papers to read.
11:15- SURPRISE!!! One of the graduate students is having a baby, so we threw him and his wife a surprise baby shower. We had donuts, cookies, and cupcakes. It was delicious and it was fun to talk about babies.
11:45- Back to work. I start tracking my cells (track their movement) from videos I created last week. It takes a while to track the cells, but it is really interesting to watch the videos of the cells dividing and moving around, so I don’t mind doing this.
1:00- Lunch. Since there is a microwave, I normally just make some oatmeal in a cup.
1:10- Tracking cells like it’s nobody’s business. Other undergrads have come into the lab- and we all chat about the upcoming spring break for a little while. I show my friend the song “Call Me Maybe”; it’s just so catchy that I have to share it with everyone I know.
2:00- Finish tracking cells. I start working on my presentation for this Thursday. In my lab, we have undergraduate presentations every month or so where we present what we have been doing to the graduate students supervising our project. This ensures that we actually understand (and are interested in) our project. In my lab, they want undergraduates to do meaningful work; I think it’s really cool that they don’t just consider us a pair of hands.
2:30- Meeting with lab partner. The undergraduate that’s working with me on this project doesn’t know how to track cells, so I give him a 30 minute tutorial, so he’s ready to track tomorrow.
Hope you enjoyed! ☺