Works and Days

Off Quad Rule: Part 8

picture of computer monitor screen.

Tehina and Pita
There it is, no mouth pipetting… Sorry Makotes. After a good lab evaluation and fresh samples coming in, the few let downs stemming from the cannabinoid project are hardly felt. At the moment there are some technical difficulties being sorted out since I have been getting a signal of cAMP production when I don’t think I should be. Now I’m investigating a cAMP baseline for the lymphocytes I’m testing for comparison. The good news is that this is somewhat expected since I’ve moved on from the forskolin curve to also running the full agonist drug simultaneously with the forskolin and ATP, a new element to the complicated mix. One step forward, three or five back.

Ful Medames
This week has been super busy, the consequences of the power outage are slowly surfacing as I go about trying to use machines that have switched back to their manufacture default settings. They still work, there’s just a touch more tinkering around that adds up as the day passes along. This week more mouse brain samples arrived for tissue collecting and homogenizing. I finally got a clear picture of them to show you all, the worker making the extractions was excellent.

preserved mouse brainsFigure 1. Mouse brains – 4 count. Don’t they look like candy? They’re also hard as rocks from bathing in liquid nitrogen. My thumb for scale, which is already small.

The cannabinoid project is progressing slowly, but still coming along nonetheless. I have started treatment with the full agonist drug we are using to target the CB1 receptors in the lymphocyte tissues. The last results were less promising than hoped, so the concentrations used for testing and other such procedures are being revised in collaboration with other cellular labs that have worked with lymphocytes before. I’m keeping my fingers crossed while also holding my pipettes close. Hopefully I will have more to tell you about next week.

Samak Mashwi
The lab evaluation went well. We were only chided once for not having a few bottles labeled and an intern wearing shorts (not me I pinky swear!), and complimented on how clean and organized the bench spaces and fume hoods were. I am happy it is over, it is a lot easier to have the utensils and stock solutions around your work area than scattered throughout the lab. One small achievement from this week was being able to somehow stock a large shipment of incoming samples after we had organized the fridges and freezers to a tasteful looking fullness for the lab evaluation. It was fun, but I wouldn’t want to do it again. It was like building Ikea furniture with five people. Next time you want to do office bonding or whatever just do that.

The nicotine and cotinine projects are on hold for the time being. I’m still running samples through the column used for HPLC to find retention times to measure drugs in rhesus monkey saliva, but less frequently during the day. There’s one place I would not have wanted to be during the power outage, those cages are secured with electronic locks after all…. Also the morgue.

Koshary Tea
What I have learned or been reminded of so far:
1. Your glassware can never be too clean.
2. It is a bad idea to want extremely specific results and/or let your interns know how badly you want them and/or give any indication that you may on any level be judging them by the real results they are providing you. I am still disappointed and surprised (and a tad indignant, if one can be a tad indignant) to see this kind of outlook poke its head out.

Emma (‘16)

Tags: biology, neuroscience, chemistry, brain