Sniffles and a superabundance of soap.

Winter quarter is deep underway, and as a result sickness has permeated through the student body of UCSB. Unfortunately, my cloak of vitamin C, airborne, and continuous hand washing did not prove to have the power of invisibility, and sickness found me. All through my horror week of 4 midterms (OChem, Physics, Spanish 100, and Spanish 25) my voice had abandoned me, my throat ached from coughing, my body shivered with a 101 degree fever, and my only consolations were boxes of nyquil and sudafed. After two weeks without symptom relief, I finally convinced myself to take a trip to the urgent care doctor who gave me antibiotics that have finally kicked in, and kicked out whatever sinus infection had decided to keep my ears plugged for so long.

 

Today is Monday, and this is the first week I have felt human again. So I dropped into my research lab to check on the Celastrol brain stainings that I had somehow finished (in an incoherent state, no doubt) over the course of the past two weeks. Now, keep in mind that these stainings are supposed to begin with a primary antibody 48-52 hour incubation, continue with a secondary antibody 24-48 hour incubation, and conclude with an afternoon of tissue washing and the process of mounting the brain slices on slides. This process generally occurs, Friday, Monday, and then Wednesday mounting. So less than one week.

 

My Celastrol stainings have been sitting in incubation buffer (contains a soap to perforate the tissues and allow antibodies to enter individual cells) and antibodies for TWO weeks, not less than one. You might think: no big deal, the brains were sitting in soap, so they will just be extra clean! But, no. Soap + brain tissue = thousands of tiny holes in all the membranes and extremely delicate slices. I tried to mount them on the slides and most of them fell apart simply in the transportation process. It was an epic fail, and although some of the tissues remained intact, the experiment will have to be repeated. So that’s what I will be doing this Friday after the next Ochem midterm.

 

On the bright side, the tissues that survived the mounting process will probably appear beautifully stained. Due to the abundance of tiny holes in the membranes, the antibody should have had free access to the proteins inside the cells. I guess we will see.

 

Well, back to studying for my Spanish Linguistics midterm tomorrow!

Advertisements
Posted in 2010-2011, EUREKA

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Student Contributors
Alex Iteen is a second year student majoring in Biology. He is interested in bioengineering and synthetic biology. He is currently working in Dr. Fygenson's lab on DNA nanotubes.
See all his posts

David Wallace is a third year student majoring in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology. He is currently working in Professor Weimbs's lab studying the pathogenic mechanisms of Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD).
See all his posts

Eneida Chesnut is a senior majoring in chemical engineering. She transferred from SBCC, where she studied chemistry. She works with organic materials for solar cells and is very interested in renewable energy research.
See all her posts

Erzsebet is a second year chemical engineering major. She is interested in biotechnology and biophysics, and is working in Professor David Awschalom's lab investigating how cephalopod skin responds to different types of stimulation by light.
See all her posts

Madison Cornwell is a second year student majoring in Biochemistry and Spanish. She is a EUREKA intern through the California NanoSystems Institute and the Resident Assistant of the Women in Science and Technology House in Manzanita Village. She will be working closely with Dr. Kosik and graduate student Israel Hernandez for the remainder of her time at UCSB.
See all her posts
Participate
Are you interested in contributing to the UCSB Undergraduate Research blog? Email Kelly Pillsbury for more information.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3 other followers

Blog Stats
  • 19,054 visitors