Lab book #4 – Tuesday 13th Oct

Have you noticed I’m really terrible at posting on a Friday? By the end of the week I generally feel like I deserve the evening off, I hope you all do as well! However over the weekend the Bioscience PhD forum run by Devon and Stewart launched their blog and along with it the post I wrote for them. It was a pleasure to write and hopefully they’ll ask me back soon to write something else 🙂 .

On to yesterday. I could tell you all I worked really late so I didn’t get the chance to write a post, but the truth is that Homeland AND the walking dead are back on TV. We watched both last night 🙂 do I feel guilty for not blogging without a real reason? A little, but I was too busy relaxing to care 😛 . I did actually have a productive day in the lab yesterday so here goes:

I arrived at 9:15 after a morning swim and had a little time to myself before my undergrad arrived (I planned for him to arrive at 11), however he quickly ended that dream by forgetting what time I’d asked him to arrive and arriving at ~9:45 (I will give it to him, I’d much prefer he arrived early rather than late). I told him I’d be busy until 11 as I had my own work to do before we started his work, so gave him a paper to read. I managed to get most of the things done in the lab that I wanted to before I showed him how to make some competent cellsWe had to work around his afternoon lectures so this made things a little more difficult. I ended up having to do the last step as I underestimated how long it would take him to do things. Unfortunately it didn’t take long to realise that his cells were contaminated. His aseptic technique requires a little work but hopefully we’ll get there. After he went off to his lecture at 2pm I was free to carry on with my own work and I managed to get some growth curve data from last week processed and added to my other replicates (one job off the thesis checklist). I also transformed a construct into cells to make a new mutant. Overall it was a much more productive day in the lab than I expected (contaminated undergrad cells aside) and I went home at 5:30pm for the previously mentioned TV binge.

Multi layer plating of my transformed bacteria - the bacteria are sandwiched in between layers of agar, if you squint you might even be able to see the different layers
Multi layer plating of my transformed bacteria – the bacteria are sandwiched in between layers of agar, if you squint you might even be able to see the different layers.

Today I arrived a little earlier than usual at 8am as I wanted to get some things set up and running before journal club at 10am (this was my only guaranteed undergrad free time). I faffed a little until about 8:30am then I toddled off to the lab and worked pretty solidly until 10am. I managed to get some DNA extractions on and incubating as well as set up some long run PCRs. Journal club was also surprisingly quick (over by about 10:35am) with an interesting, well-presented paper. Maybe my feelings towards journal club are finally changing? This early finish meant I had a little unexpected time for my own work which was a nice little bonus. I used it to do a little lab book writing up.

Officially onto lab book number 4
Officially onto lab book number 4
1, 2, 3, 4...!
1, 2, 3, 4…!

From 11am-2pm I worked in the lab with my undergrad. Teaching him how to transform cells (some of mine from the freezer not his contaminated ones) and showing him my already transformed cells (yesterdays transformation was a success with lots of lovely colonies to choose from 🙂 ). When he went off to a practical at 2pm I managed to grab some lunch (so hungry by this point!) and then once again had a few hours to dedicate to my own work. I did lab work from about 3-5:30pm and then did a little more lab book writing up (now 100% up to date) until 6pm when I left to go home.

Tomorrow I have quite a lot going on, so I won’t have much lab time, but it will be an interesting day. Until then everyone, thank you for reading.

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