Practice and Failure
I have spent a lot of time this week in the confocal room looking at cells under the microscope. I have been working really hard getting eggs, loading needles, doing injections, maturing, fertilizing, and watching cells divide on the confocal microscope. I mostly have been trying to repeat things. A lot of the results I have from earlier experiments have been inconclusive. What results I do have I am trying to repeat. In the next couple of days we are presenting our results via scientific poster to a group of other scientists. I am just trying to get all my ducks in a row. I have been putting in a lot of extra hours in the confocal room to make that happen. A lot of things that I started out struggling with are getting easier. Practice really does make perfect!
That’s not to say its been easy. I still fail pretty regularly. On Monday I spent the whole day injecting a batch of eggs with the probe that would allow me to see them with the confocal. I had planned to inject them with the morpholino that would turn off the gene which codes for the protein Cyk4, but when I came into the lab Tuesday morning all of the eggs had died in a dramatic fashion. The cells literally spat out their nucleus and started to break down. It was pretty disheartening. I was able to kick it into high gear and redo that injection and finish another this week. Its been a lot of hours with the confocal microscope and I feel like we have bonded. Here’s a stupid selfie of me and the confocal screen I took after staring at it for too long.
Our little larva are getting bigger and bigger. They may be close to metamorphosing to their adult form. I have updated baby pictures:
See you Next Week
Thanks so much for reading!
My name is Nicolle Koontz and I am from Grass Valley, California where I attend Sierra College. I am lucky enough to be working in George von Dassow's lab doing research on the cellular biology of starfish oocytes during mitosis. I am an information addict. I have to know how things work, how we know how those things work, and why they work the way they do. These sorts of questions have led me to major in Biology. As an REU intern I look forward to working in a state of the art lab with mentors and grad students who share in my joy of discovery while also building my skill set. I am so excited to dive into a project that can contribute to our collective scientific understanding of the world.