Now we get to COOL stuff!! Almost. I'm trying to make my SDS-PAGE gels work and I think I know how to do it! I have to show the protein works first, before I can get to the cool stuff. It's a ligating protein, which means, it's function is to join two DNA pieces into a bigger DNA piece. I have to show it doing this by letting it react, then separating the DNA I let it react with on a gel and seeing if it's actually bigger than it was. But before I can do THAT, I have to actually be able to see the DNA on the gel. I can see it after a fashion, but the gel is dirty as crap. But I think I know why!
What I'm working on now: making my Typhoon fluorescence gel pretty
I imaged a gel on the Typhoon fluorescence reader today and it looked like crap. I'm just saying the truth. The background fluorescence is better, because I rinsed it this time, but that's not enough.
You know what? I need to filter sterilize those solutions I'm using to make the gels! *hits forehead about eight dozen times* DUH! Why didn't I think of that? This dye (sybr gold) is super sensitive. OF COURSE! Of course I need to do that. I'm so excited to do this and do it right I can hardly stand it. Every few moments I'll groan and tsk and make an annoyed face and John smiles at me in his silly way. I feel like a horse chomping at the bit. Must make gel. Must make gel. Must make gel. And make it all pretty and nice and CLEAN!!
I got to talk to Sam Hong in biochemistry today, my old classmate. He's now a 2nd year! He's doing a reaction that's really similar to mine, actually, and we got to talk some experiment stuff that was a lot of fun. I asked him a lot of questions.
Silly stuff in the lab - and my benchmate, Kevin
Almost every day, I ask Kevin, my grad lab benchmate when he's going to make more gold nanoparticles, so I can watch. He says soon. That's always his answer. Soon. He must get tired of me saying, almost ever time I see him, "Hey Kevin! When are you going to make more particles!" "Soon." "Ach."
He says making gold nanoparticles is easy. It's just basically boiling water and adding chemicals. I told him he can teach me how to boil water like a pro, then.
Last week, I was constantly asking him, "So Kevin, are your particles walking yet? Are they walking now? How about now?" He's got some nanowalker particles he's trying to make crawl across a surface. He actually did get them to work recently, which was really exciting.
It's ok, on one day this week, every time he saw me, he was saying, "Do you have protein?" "Do you have protein??" "Hey, do you have protein?" The third or fourth time he said that, I laughed out loud. I was like "No, not yet." "Not yet." "Almost." "I'm just eluting it now!" "Ok, now I'm concentrating it."
Kevin plays a large clunky radio on some pop station all day while he works. It's low enough volume not to be annoying and I've mostly gotten used to it. I was telling John, "It's a big clunky radio, like from the 80s." And he gave me this horrible look. "From the 80s??" Saying that, "some of us" where born then. I told him I couldn't remember when radios were clunky. Maybe it was the 70s. I dunno. It had big speakers. I totally failed at describing it.
Kevin also likes to say random absurd statements, to get a reaction out of people, which I find greatly amusing, most of the time. I mentioned that before, I think.
Dr. Khalid Salaita is back!
Khalid went to Jordan to visit his parents for two weeks and just got back yesterday. He walked in yesterday evening and I was surprised, but I got to talk to him and showed him my protein gels. We got to discuss some things, and I suddenly was realizing a few things I hadn't thought about until he started talking. Possibilities were flashing before me. I've been so focused on getting this protein to work, it's been hard for me to think of anything else. So, I haven't really gotten much time to plan my next experiments. I've kind of felt as if I were scrambling these last few days. But it's so exciting! I'm about to embark on completely new territory!
I was worried for a bit, because I heard a rumor from Yvonne, one of the grad students, that he required his students to come in to work one day each weekend. That really upset me, because I just cannot do that. It goes against my core principles. I work on the weekend - but I want it to be a reading day so I can read more literature. It wastes time and gas driving back and forth to Emory on a day I'm not doing experiments. But most important, I like to be with John and sit there with him nearby when I read. That's critical. I don't get to see John enough as it is.
However, fortunately, I was worried for nothing. Dr. Salaita said he had no problem with me not coming in on the weekends. That was just a general guideline for students who might not realize that grad school required more work than undergrad did. He said I didn't have that problem. I was so relieved.
I had plans to talk to professors and students in the summer. I still need to figure out how to do that. I've been SOOO excited about researching, that it consumes all my mind, and I have no room for doing anything else. I just don't want to talk to anyone any more. I just want to DO MY EXPERIMENTS AND READ PAPERS - AHHHH!!! MUST DO MORE!!
And now? Now, I gotta go sleep because it's 10:30 p.m., dang it! Time snuck up on me. I was planning to go to bed by 10 p.m. sharp or 9 p.m. or something. So I can get up at 5:30 a.m. when John's alarm goes off, and go in early and ... and ... and DO MORE EXPERIMENTS -- AHHHH!!! :D