Going Home

Sometimes the college student misses the simplicity of a home cooked meal, the comfort of your mom’s routine how-was-your-day, bickering and giggling siblings in the next room, and the sound of your dad snoring after a long hard day at work. I miss family, and cannot wait to board the amtrak train 6:30am Saturday morning. Sophomore year is a tough one and the chance to cast off my Rosie the Riveter “We Can Do It” go-getter attitude and briefly take on my childhood nicknames “Princess” and “Lisa” from the Simpson’s cartoon will be more than worth the 8-hour round trip.

Round two of the Celastrol stainings with Hsp70 and LC3B are going very well, I will finish the procedure tomorrow by mounting the thin brain slices on glass slides to be viewed under the fluorescent microscope. Israel always begins one of these days with, “Ahh, you are Michelangelo today.” The technique of mounting requires a lot of practice and a tremendous amount of patience. One must be determined to use a soft paintbrush to guide the sample through a liquid medium, onto the slide, perfectly flat and without wrinkles. This often requires assembling the torn tissue fragments back into the recognizable shape of a coronal slice of mouse brain like a puzzle. Needless to say, these are the days I am sitting at a lab bench for hours on end, neck cramping and eyes squinting to arrange mosaics the size of a pea.

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Posted in 2010-2011, EUREKA
One comment on “Going Home
  1. Gina Longos says:

    Hi Madison,

    I can sympathize with the pain and frustration that mounting tiny brain slices can bring about. I am actually writing to ask if you have had any occurences of overlapping tissue after coverslipping? I work as a student research assistant in a lab at University of Illinois at Chicago, and we have just finished mounting and coverslipping the brains we are using for our current study and have ended up with quite a few slides with overlapping sections in slices. Have you ever run into this issue and if you have, any suggestions?!

    Thanks for your time!

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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.
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