Friday, June 18, 2010

Ordering and thinking

I'll let everyone reading this blog in on a little secret. A good portion of a researcher's time is spent on menial tasks and tasks that look very similar to "doing nothing". Today was one such day for me (as was much of the week). I spent most of my time ordering supplies, running around borrowing/stealing supplies from others, and planning our future projects. This last one was the most difficult, as my brain has just not been cooperating lately. People will say that this is related to the 1-month-old baby in my house, but I personally just think it's just the consequence of a more-hectic-than-normal week. To at least a little justify my presence in the lab, I poured a very dangerous powder, PMSF, into isopropyl alcohol  to make a slightly less dangerous solution. (Less dangerous because it's a lot harder to inhale a liquid than a dust.)

In real news, we are going to be doing two rather important things next week. First, we are making our nucleosomes. This is exciting, although perhaps a bit early. It's early because it is questionable whether we will have everything we need ready by that time. However, in science it is often the case that you must go ahead with plans and hope for the best. If you wait until everything seems to be ready, you never get anything done. The good news is that our Fisher rep claims our UV detector is coming on Monday. With some luck and some help from Prof. Brandauer in Health Sciences, we should be able to get that up and running on Monday. Additionally, I'm hoping to make all of the stock solutions we need on Monday so that we aren't running around trying to make those all last minute. Our collaborator, Xiangyun Qiu, is coming on Tuesday to see the prep and generally just to visit, so it this coming week should be busy.

The other exciting thing is that I'm expecting to start running the condensed DNA samples that John has been preparing the machine for. Although he's still having a hard time nailing down that last 2-3% of systematic error, I think we're pretty close to being at a place that we can run at. I'm guessing that come Friday or so, we'll be in business. As Xiangyun is the one that gave us these samples, we'll also take some time during his visit to talk to him about the samples and our general running procedure.

So it should be an exciting first week of "summer".

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