naturallypixie: (science faerie)

Molecular Biology Lab Work Time Lapse
"Molecular Biology Lab Work Time Lapse" on Google Video
What you are witnessing are four of the most fundamental molecular biology tasks; DNA extraction, Gel electrophoresis, PCR (polymerase chain reaction), and the use of restriction endonucleases. Or, in english, DNA extraction, sorting DNA by size, amplifying DNA, and cutting DNA. It's like cooking with minute volumes of clear liquid.
naturallypixie: (Default)
Today I finished making mineral competent DH5-alpha, a strain of E. coli. Next week I will test to see if they will do what they are supposed to at a high rate of efficiency.

Also, Bart is working night hours right now and it stinks. The last few nights he has arrived home after 2:00am.
naturallypixie: (Default)
I have just discovered my limit for dealing with crap at the lab. It is 20 days. I know this because it is now September 21st and I can no longer deal. The thing that sucks is, I was beginning to think that I had been too hasty in my decision to return home because things, while still not the best, were not as bad as they seemed before the one month vacation.

I arrived to work early today so that I could get into the cell culture room before everyone else and actually get to use the ONE microscope to look at my ailing cells. They look to be recoving nicely. We shal see in a couple of days. That is the only good thing that happend today. A few minutes after sitting down at my desk, the maintenance crew arrived to continue working on the air conditioners tha have been broken since June. Nice of them to wait until SEPTEMBER to fix them. So I move out of the way and the crew procedes to stand on my desk and make a huge dusty mess in the lab. They are drilling holes in the ceilings and floors for new drainage pipes, you see. This takes three hours.

When they are finished, I go around the lab and wipe up the dust from the bench tops, computers and chairs. I close all of the windows and turn on the AC. Yay, clean at last. Then T and L come back in and open all of the windows. F tells them that I just finshed cleaning and closing, but they say that it smells in the lab. No, it doesn't. I have the world's most sensitive nose and I didn't smell a thing. All of the clean surfaces are currenlty becoming dusty again. So I went home.

The one good thing is that my cells didn't do so well over the weekend, so I was unable to do the three day experiment on them that I had planned. If I had, I would have had a huge dust cloud everywhere contamination everything and I would have been IRATE instead of just irritated.

Deep breath. In. Out. Good.

EDIT: This is my MSN horoscope for today. Sometimes theses things are accurate.
Aquarius
January 20 - February 17
If you are involved in a class, or if you find yourself in any kind of group activity or social situation, be prepared for quarrels to break out among everyone there. You could find this extremely useless and counterproductive, and you might be tempted to try to break in and put a stop to it. It's best to stay out of it, dear Aquarius. Get rid of your frustration by walking home! You'll feel better for it!
naturallypixie: (Default)
I have finally received all of my reagents and am doing real live science! I am very excited about the whole thing. I currently have sixteen plates of cells growing in phenol red-free, high glucose DMEM plus 2% charcoal dextran treated fetal bovine serum and 1% pen/strep. This is a very good thing. On Monday, I will collect the DNA from two plates, the RNA from two other plates and treat the rest with a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

Yay science!
naturallypixie: (Default)
It has been a while since I wrote anything worthwhile here and I am afraid that today will be no exception. I have been spending most of my time doing nothing at work. I was given several different projects, all of which went nowhere after I immediately jumped on doing the research for. But, I have finally gotten a project and actual DNA to do the work on. If you are scientifically minded, read on...if not, feel free to skip this next bit, I'll let you know when it is okay to read again.

I am doing two projects. The first is a methylation analysis of the p57 gene promoter in different types of thyroid tumors. This could be a very exciting methylation versus chromatin configuration experiment. The second project is much more long term. I will be constructing differential ChIP libraries from a prostate cell line, and if it works, I'll be doing more libraries from other cell types. The purpose of these libraries is to see what genes are differentially methylated after the addition of a stimulus. In the case of the prostate cell line, the stimulus will be 5-dihydroxy testosterone (DHT) which binds to the androgen receptor and is then translocated to the nucleus and those two molecules along with some other stuff, directly binds the DNA. I'll be doing two rounds of ChIP with anti-AR antibody.

EVERYBODY ELSE CAN READ AGAIN
Yesterday I wanted to go to a meeting of English speaking women here in Naples, but alas, I could not find the place. I received very sketchy directions from a random lady in the market down the street...They meet behind the Anglican church near Piazza Amadeo at 10 the second Saturday of every month. The really sad thing is that I brought a new friend along, she has been here a little longer than we have, and we totally went on a wild goose chase! I felt very bad about this. In fact, I was disappointed on several levels. *sigh* I will try again next month. It would be really great if the group's website goes back up between now and then so that I can get an address.

Finally, there is a new smell in our apartment, and neither one of us can figure out it's origin. Bart can smell it. That says something.
naturallypixie: (Default)
Ciao tutti! (Hello, everybody!)

Forgive me all, for it has been far too long since my last post. Today, however, is special in two ways. First, it is my birthday and I wish tp ost a hearty thank you to all who sent me personal greetings! Second, there is only one other person here i the lab today and he had to go to anohter building for a bit, so I am here with an intrnet connection all to myself :)

I have been placed in the lab of Professore Lorenzo Chariotti, a very nice man who thinks I sound British. I am currenlty sharing a desk with his wife, Francesca, who is also a teacher and is not in the lab everyday.

Sidenote: The amount of dust and finger ickiness on this keyboard is astounding. It is now 11.17 and another person who works in the lab, Lela, has just arrived.

The people in the lab, Francesco, Tiziana, Lela, Francesca and Lorenzo, are all very nice. On my first day in, Tiziana bought me lunch, which was great because I had no money and no food. Speaking of money, my stipend has been settled for now - €2000 per month, €1591 after taxes. After looking at this amount of money sitting on our sofa last night, I have decided that it is quite a bit of money considering that our rent is €700 including all expenses, so that leaves us with about €900 per month to spend on food, which is very inexpensive.

Today we are buying me a cell phone, we will probably pick one up for Bart, too since he is currently using a loaner from Lana. I think maybe I will buy a new keyboard for the lab too....

Whatelse? There is so much to write about because it has been so long since I posted! Bart has had many adventures out on the town trying to buy things to set up our apartment. There are many small stores with very specific inventories, so you have to go to one shop to get the pressure rod for the shower curtain and somewhere else for the curtain and somewhere else for the heater and somewhere else for the extension cord and somewhere else for the adapter for the extension cord so you can plug it into the wall. Did I mention that there are at least 5 different kinds of wall sockets here? Adapters are important. Or should that be adaptor with an "o"? Either way I write it, it looks wrong. Sigh. You are all smart people, you'll figure it out.

Figure it out...try explaining that to a person learning English. "Figure" means body, you see? "We can bdy it out?" That obviously doesn't make sense. Had to explain that it also means numbers...

Okay, so I'll stop rambling and let you all know that we are well (at least, I am getting better and Bart, of course, was never sick...I think that I am allergic to some mold growing in our apartment) and not starving. We should have internet in our house in about two weeks. We already have a geat TV and DVD player compliments of Lana. Oh yeah, and my computer works again because, as a birthday gift, Donovan was kind enough to replace the power supply after I blew it up by plugging it into the all before flipping the voltage switch. In case you were wondering, this action produces a VERY loud pop and a large poof of blue electrical flame, as well as one completely freaked out Brandie.

Okay, I'm done. Really. I could type a lot more, but I won't. Va bene. Ciao.

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