Wednesday 22/07/2015

Quick summary of Tuesday: I arrived at 8am, I did lab work, I left at 5pm to go to the gym 🙂 Somewhere in there was lunch, a trip out to pick up a present and a journal club. I was home by 7:30pm and my evening was spent typing up and sending feedback to my Brilliant Club students on their tutorial 5 presentations (which was the preparation for their final assignment). Overall it was a productive day.

Now on to today:

Again I arrived just after 8am, and I was in the lab by about 8:15am. I agreed to set up some cultures for a colleague which I find is a great way to motivate me to get in the lab early (as someone else is relying on me to do something). I set those up and poured myself many, many agarose gels. I had overnight PCR’s that needed to be run out. These are the PCR’s on the samples I spent last week extracting so when they were ready it was a bit of a fingers crossed, don’t want to look moment. Eventually, after a count to 5, I opened my eyes and *SUCCESS*, it was a huge relief! With these samples I don’t expect every single sample to work but my success rate was equivalent to when this was working previously, AMAZING! So this morning was a success. Now I just needed to prep the samples for analysis. I spent the morning setting up a complicated 96 well plate that included all of the positive samples from this analysis and some that needed to be re-run to fill in the gaps. This requires a ridiculous level of concentration to make sure every sample goes where it’s meant to. Using a multi-channel pipette is much more difficult when samples aren’t in a simple order and there are gaps to be filled.

Just before lunch a colleague for the hospital, who’s working with us on a project, arrived and I spent a bit of time working with her and showing her what the boss would like her to do. Tomorrow I’ll resuspend for her all the samples she streaked today and freeze them down until she can come and analyse them. At 12:45pm we left the lab as a group (19 of us!) to go out for lunch. A colleague is leaving and this was a chance to all get together and say goodbye. We had a huge lunch at a really nice Turkish restaurant (I’m still full now at 10pm and I only had toast for dinner!). As there were so many of us lunch took a little while and we didn’t get back to the lab until nearly 3pm. 

I spent the next 2hrs searching through freezer maps on the computer (we all keep copies of what’s in our -80 boxes) to find some particular strains that we *should* have in there. I eventually found most of them, although this is of course in theory. Tomorrow I’ll actually search the freezers for them and see if they are where they’re meant to be! At 5pm I left work as I had a Brilliant Club Midlands tutors social 🙂 . Luckily for me this had been organised at the Marquis pub, just down the road from the University. Officially it started at 4:30pm but sorting through the freezer lists took longer than I’d hoped. I stayed for 2hrs chatting with tutors I knew and meeting others for the first time, everyone was lovely and I had a really nice time. A huge thank you to Lexi for taking on the responsibility of organising everything. I was home by 7:30pm and I’ve been busy sorting out the laundry and ironing (Thrilling I know but that’s life 🙂 ).

That’s my day, I’d call it moderately productive, I could have done more but what I did achieve was positive. I can go ahead and deal with the samples that have been piling up in my freezer now I’ve confirmed my protocol is working again. This essentially sets me up for the summer so I feel quite in control, which I think for a PhD student is rare.

Until tomorrow everyone, thank you for reading.

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