Back in the lab – Wed 6th April

Monday morning was a slow start after 2 weeks away from the lab. I arrived at 10am and didn’t get anything meaningful done all morning, other than emptying my inbox. BUT in the afternoon I sat down with the boss and we had a chat about what experiments I really want to get done before I go away and start writing. Some things we agreed on, others I felt were important but he didn’t. We came up with a manageable list of things to start with which fired me up for the week. I spent the rest of the afternoon tinkering with data, which meant I made a dent in that list.

Tuesday was a bit scattered, I arrived at 9am and only had an hour before the lab meeting at 10am. It gave me enough time to get lots of different strains growing so I could make DNA from them later in the day. After the lab meeting I did some more data tinkering until lunch at ~12:45pm. This kept me busy while my strains were growing. They were, of course, all ready at different times, so rather than process them in little chunks I took them through the first two steps of my protocol and then stored them in the freezer. It took until about 6pm to get them all as grown as I’d like, so I left them in the freezer ready to process in the morning.

Getting them ready for the freezer (and yes sometimes I use my bench as a notepad) 

Today I arrived at 9am, and got on with my DNA extractions. On top of that I also made a lot of media! My shelves had got a little bare so it was time to restock. All of this filled my morning nicely and at 12:15pm we went for lunch. I also spent various bits of time before and after lunch fielding some last minute Brilliant Club issues. This is just something that happens on deadline day (assignments due by 11:59pm tonight).

Making ALL the media (this isn’t even all of it!) 

At 2pm there was a departmental seminar, it was on micropeptides in insects so definitely not my area, but it was good. As PhD students we’re expected to attend the departmental/theme (genetics and microbiology for me) seminars as well as the student seminar days. Sometimes when these are on areas very different from your own research (e.g. mammalian genetics for a microbiologist) it can be a struggle, but the idea is to keep our knowledge broad.

After the seminar I squashed in a little bit more lab work before leaving at 5pm for Pilates. As far as first weeks back go I think this has been a good one. I’ve done productive things, even if I was a little slow to get going. Tomorrow afternoon we have our team meeting so there’ll be much less lab work, until then everyone, thanks for reading.


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