Thursday 28/05/2015

I arrived at the lab at 8am, switched on my computer and headed straight to the lab (can you notice a theme to my productive days yet…). I started by pouring another 4 gels to run my other 96 well plate out, the samples were just as disappointing as yesterday’s but I now have a troubleshooting plan in place so I’m feeling better about that. The strict list I made yesterday made it really easy to focus on exactly what I needed to do all morning so I ended up getting a lot done. I didn’t really leave the lab all morning. 

My second job for the day had to be put on hold because I couldn’t find the PCR I needed in the freezer, I did it about 3 weeks ago but I’ve been so busy processing other samples that it got lost somewhere along the way. This was annoying but I didn’t flounder, I repeated the PCR this morning and moved some of this mornings work to this afternoon (and still got it all done 🙂 ). I also managed to fit in a transformation (a process where we manipulate bacteria into taking up some specific DNA we want them to have). By doing a transformation on a Thursday I already know I’ll need to pop into the lab at the weekend, sad but true, I’ll be there anyway for my pilates class so it’s not too bad. Doing transformations is how we make mutants, I’m trying to force the bacteria to lose a specific gene by replacing it with what’s called a marker (something we can use to select for those bacteria that have successfully lost the gene).

My very strict and very helpful list (I even used a timer to keep me on track)
My very strict and very helpful list (I even used a timer to keep me on track) 
My beautiful and very useufl new multi-channels arrived yesterday but in my grumpy mood I forgot to tell you (thank you boss!)
My beautiful and very useful new multi-channels arrived yesterday but in my grumpy mood I forgot to tell you (thank you boss!)

After getting quite a lot done this morning I ended my having a pretty late lunch at about 2:30pm. I then spent the afternoon at my computer planning some experiments (and listening to the French open on my computer). I need to order a few supplies for them so I read a few papers and decided on what I need, I was getting ready to order them when after a little bit more research I realised we actually already have something perfect in the lab! I can get on with these experiments much sooner than I planned. They’re just exploratory experiments, I don’t know what result I’ll get out, but I’m trying to begin to explain a strange outcome that keeps occurring. Fingers crossed it might lead me somewhere exciting! It also gives me the chance to do some pure microbiology rather than genetics based experiments, even though I’m based in the genetics department I’m really a microbiologist pretending to be a geneticist. Because I was planning new experiments I went and spoke things over with my supervisor, he’s happy with what I’m planning AND he had a gift for me! A map of Tuscany (he’s Italian)! We’re heading to a conference there next month and my boyfriend is flying over towards the end so we can stay for a few extra days (there are definitely a few perks to academia and travel is one of them). Having colleagues who moved to the UK from Tuscany means they are more than willing to help us find some of the best places to visit 😀 .

Toscana map a gift from my supervisor - we're heading there for a conference next month :)
A map of Tuscany, a gift from my supervisor – we’re heading there for a conference next month 🙂

I got a lot done today which meant when we left at 6:30pm for our lab night out to play laser quest, it was guilt free 😀 . We went a few weeks ago, and had a great time, so tonight our group was much bigger, 13-14 of us in the end. We’re generally pretty good at socialising as a lab and I definitely think it helps everyone relax and unwind. When it comes to laser quest I’m not the best (although definitely not the worst either!) and we had a great night. I got the train home at 9:15pm and I’m absolutely shattered now! 2 hours of laser quest is no joke 😛 .

Until tomorrow everyone (and thank you for reading) …

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