This weeks round up 23-25 Sept

Didn’t blog Wednesday, didn’t blog Thursday … whoops! Here’s a catch up 🙂

Wednesday 

I arrived at the lab at normal time (8:30am) and spent the morning getting a really good chunk of lab work done. That was my morning, running gels, PCRing things and extracting DNA. A very productive morning overall. I then had an earlier than usual lunch at 12:50pm as I had a meeting at 1pm. I always leave it too late to have lunch before a meeting so I ended up taking it with me and quickly scoffing it before we started. The meeting lasted until about 2:15pm which left me 45mins before my next meeting. That’s right an afternoon of meetings. The first was for our departments Athena Swan working group, and the second was a modelling meeting with myself, the boss and the mathematician we’ve been working with. I used the 45min gap to run a gel and grab some data for the modelling meeting.

Keeping things clean - to avoid DNA contamination I make up solutions inside the hood.
Keeping things clean – to avoid DNA contamination I make up solutions inside the hood.

The modelling meeting ended up being longer than I’d expected, about 1.5hrs in the end, and it was a tiring 1.5hrs! Mathematicians and Biologists don’t talk the same language. It’s not that either of us are wrong, it’s just that we struggle to effectively communicate what we need to each other. Anyway after quite a lot of …

Going around in circles
going round in circles

….we managed to work out a plan. I have some new experiments to go and do (which seem achievable) and he has some parameters to go and adjust.

After meeting number 2 I was only left with ~30mins before Pilates, so I used the time to do admin things. After Pilates I walked into town with the boss as we both needed to do a bit of shopping, and after that we walked back to his house as we were having a lab dinner. A visiting student who’s been with us since May has finished her placement in the lab so she cooked for us all at the bosses house (it was very good, Italian food and as a vegetarian I was treated to my own mini meat free version of everything 🙂 ). I was there until about 10:30pm so there was no time for blogging.

The team :)
The team 🙂
Everyone else was drinking red, so I got my own mini carafe of white :) #ItalianBoss
Everyone else was drinking red, so I got my own mini carafe of white 🙂 #ItalianBoss

Thursday 

Thursday was an odd morning as there was a seminar scheduled at 11am, normally they’re straight after lunch (which has it’s own pitfalls), so that messed with my normal planning a little. I arrived at 8:30am and was straight in the lab. After the modelling meeting the day before I needed to set up a test run of the experiment I need to do. I need to be fairly confident in the number of bacteria I’m inoculating from one step to the next so this test run was designed to let me check I was working at the right dilutions. While the bacteria were growing I set up some PCRs, wrote up my lab book and planned the complete protocol for this modelling experiment. At 11am I went off to the seminar which was 1hr long. This was perfect timing for me as stage one of my experimental test run was finished at 12:30pm. I plated out my friendly little bacteria and incubated them ready to count tomorrow. I then had to run into town to collect a present I’d had delivered for my boyfriend (it was his birthday on Thursday) and was back at the lab by 2pm, I had a quick 20min lunch and then  set up some overnight PCRs. I left earlier than normal at 4pm so I could get home to bake a birthday cake and cook a nice birthday dinner 🙂 .

Birthday bake
Birthday bake

Friday 

Today I went for a swim before work so I arrived at 9:30am rather than my usual 8:30am. Today was a day of odd jobs. I counted the plates from yesterday, bacterial numbers were spot on, although I’m sure that’ll change when I run the actual experiment. I also ran my overnight PCRs on gels and success! My test DNA extractions worked, so next week mass DNA extraction is back on the table, the boss is away but I let him know (he’s very happy 🙂 ). My morning was filled with lab work and my afternoon was filled with admin tasks. I looked at draft assignments for my realising opportunities tutees (year 13 students on a programme where they have to research and write an assignment on the topic of their choice – my students are all working on STEM projects) and sent them feedback. I also worked on clearing a lot of little tasks that had accumulated in my inbox. I had a few papers to file, some data to pool with other data and some training records to update. These things all take time so I decided to dedicate this afternoon to getting my inbox to zero 🙂 … I can honestly say mission accomplished. When I left work at 5pm my inbox was empty, by the time I arrived at the train station at 5:15pm it wasn’t anymore but that’s life.

I have a busy weekend of non-PhDing ahead of me, and I hope you do to. So until next week everyone, thank you for reading.

P.S. hope you enjoyed the extra photos to make up for the lack of posts this week 🙂

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