I finally completed sample collection for all my experimental treatment groups. Very taxing undertaking, as I had four groups done in triplicate and the corresponding appropriate controls.
It’s Friday, and I forget that means nothing to me, because I’m not on a 9 to 5 schedule. So, there went any lofty ideas I may have had about taking it easy, and having a half day. I decided to go for the three-hour colorimetric assay – decided to take the productive I want to graduate route. The only problem is that it is still Friday, and some people leave by 6pm and it was already 3pm and I still had sample preparation to complete before I could even get started.
Oh, did I mention that I have to go to another lab to use a microplate reader, because I essentially don’t have one? Yes, so long story short, the birthday cake (everyone, wish Naila a happy birthday!) I had eaten early was long gone from my stomach, and the reaction had not yet taken place in my microplate. The researcher whom I had made arrangements with to read my plate was scheduled to leave, and now I would have to find some other desperate soul toiling late into the night, who might take mercy or pity on me; to get the job done.
After much angst and a break to eat “linner” (lunch/dinner), my assay finally produced its results. The girls in the lab across the hall were still there, but their lab does a different sort of research, the type that doesn’t require a microplate reader. Another student, volunteered her lab’s machine, but alas, some simpleton had tampered with the computers log-in information. That meant, the program that runs the micro-plate reader would not be accessible. So, I crept downstairs to see who I might find, to help me. I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a lab with a door ajar, and a student still inside.
She was so gracious! I ran upstairs and came back with my plate, then minutes she told me. I caught her just before she was leaving. The plate read, but as luck would have it, the results wouldn’t copy to excel and we couldn’t export my data to my memory stick. Why?! Fortunately, the great thing about being a scientist, is that, scientists are trained to solve problems. So this is what I did :
I took a picture with my phone’s camera. I will have to manually enter the data into an excel spreadsheet, so that I can graph it, but that would still take less time than it took for us to reset the computer, the reader, and the software.
Hope you all had a happy Friday. Overall I had an eventful one, but very productive day. I’d say today was a good day.
Stacia Nicholson is a 5th year Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD student at St John’s University. She writes all the content for her blog, www.aliquotthesciencespot.com which she set up to explain in laymen’s terms the scientific aspects of current topics in today’s society and news media