Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Calm Before the Storm

Sadly, today was Dr. Bhasin’s last full day with our class! It’s disappointing—we’ve already gotten attached to her. I’ll miss her challenging, in-depth lectures and how she was always willing to help us learn as much as possible (her lectures have been exceedingly easier to understand).

However, we will have Dr. Schonbaum acting as our new lecturer. Though we’ve had limited interaction with him this past week, he seems as friendly as Dr. Bhasin is.

Today’s lecture was about proteins in biotechnology. Dr. Bhasin went over the many applications of proteins in industry—proteins have resulted in the creation of medical applications, food processing, textiles and leather goods, detergents, adhesives, and more. We talked about protein structure, protein purification methods (like size exclusion chromatography, ion exchange chromatography, and affinity chromatography), and postpurification analysis methods like protein sequencing and x-ray crystallography.
The frog Dr. Bhasin took us to see

After the lecture, we went to the lab to set up the gels we’d use for gel electrophoresis. After pipetting our DNA into the small gel wells (it was my first time using a vertical gel, so it took me some time to get the thin pipette tip into the well), we ran our gels and went out to lunch.

Dollar Milkshake Day! Ice cream every day and milkshakes every Wednesday makes for a very happy—though very unhealthy—student.

After Kaitlyn, April, Peace, and I grabbed milkshakes at Einstein Bagels, we went back to the building and talked to the rest of our classmates. I stand by my theory on how labs, tests, and quizzes always bring a class together. Our class is no exception to the rule.

"Gelyonce", our gel
Once in lab, we analyzed our DNA for the D1S80 locus, which has VNTRs (variable number of tandem repeats) that are analyzed and used for human identification. Based on the number of bands I had (1), I found out that I’m homozygous in the D1S80 locus. Having hands-on experience with gels as well as analyzing the bands will prove highly helpful if I decide research is the career path for me. We also said our goodbyes to Dr. Bhasin (she hugged me!). I’ll miss her.

I went to my dorm after lab, read some of the Stem Cells and Cloning reading material I’ll use for my book report, took a twenty minute nap, and went to the Dining Commons at around 6:15 PM.

Today was a relaxed day. I know these next few days will be the calm before the storm… The storm of book reports, oral presentations, research papers, news article presentations, and exams. I’m preparing for it all by doing my readings, planning my paper and presentation with April, and studying with the cohort. I wonder what new adventure is in store for me tomorrow!
Taking a quick study break

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