It’s amazing how quickly time goes by over the summer! I’m learning more and more about how stuff works around a lab.
I am finally doing my own work- I’m running my own Western Blots to detect proteins, I’m starting assays to measure enzyme activity, and I have my own line of cells to culture. I essentially get to work on projects, start to finish, all on my own, and draw conclusions based on the data that the lab can use for further experimentation. I love the feeling of independence that comes with that!
I’m also learning weird, fun things that I didn’t know about. Did you know that the photography method used for taking pictures of proteins is pretty much exactly like developing photos for regular photography? There’s a dark room, photography paper (which looks a little different than regular paper—it’s blue and see-through), and a machine that puts the paper through developing solution, fixing solution, and washing solution. The proteins are bound to antibodies that are made luminescent, which expose the paper and then appear when the paper is developed. I never thought I’d ever use my high school photography class skills again, but I guess you never know what to expect. There’s so much art to science and so much science in art.
Thankfully, I haven’t been doing science all summer. I try to travel as much as I can on weekends and when I get time off. I went to Dallas, Texas to visit family a few weekends ago. It was three days filled with family, fun, and food (of course). Then I went to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for my friends’ wedding. It’s a fairly small, boring town, but I stayed right by Pepsico Headquarters and Quaker Oats Headquarters. As much as I wanted to look inside, I couldn’t, since I was a little preoccupied.
It’s been a wonderful summer so far, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store!