Thursday, May 31, 2012
This morning we continued to make our calibration samples. I had a lot of trouble getting the correct amount of phosphorus, since it was such a tiny amount to measure. I had to do one of the samples 4 times before I got the amount of phosphorus at a reasonable percent error. Then I helped brian make one of his samples that he was having trouble with as well. After lunch, we calculated the adjusted concentrations in our calibration samples. Then we read about and learned about the computer program and the spectrometry machine we will be using to analyze samples throughout the summer. Finished up with the day with a meeting with Prof. Andresen about the actual projects we will undertake this summer. Mine is a continuation of his previous research. Basically figuring out whether or not the tails that come off of nucleosomes are wrapped or not. I will be working on getting those error bars down to reasonable sizes.
Today, Lauren and I finished our calibration samples in the morning. We tried to reduce our errors as much as possible. After lunch, we figured out the adjusted concentrations in our samples. When we both finished, we were introduced to the spectrometer. However we had trouble with the computer system. Lauren and I both met with Professor Andresen individually and he told us what experiments he has planned for us this summer. To finish the day, Lauren and I read more articles.
This morning we continued to read articles and catch up on latest research in the field. Then in the afternoon we started making calibration samples. I am making 10 samples, each 10 mL. They each have 1 ppm of Co, 0-5 ppm of Mg and Na, and 0-1 ppm of P. The rest of the sample is water. I started out with the water. Came out fine on the percent errors. However I had to redo three of the samples next, when I added the Co. Third, I added the Na. Some of the percent errors were a little high, but not high enough to redo the samples. Today I will finish adding the Mg and P.
Yesterday, Lauren and I read again in the morning. In the afternoon, we went back into the lab. We started making samples to put in the spectrometer. I started 11 samples. They all contained 1 ppm of Co. The rest will range from 0-5 ppm of Mg and Mn. They will all contain 0-1 ppm of P. So far I have put in the water, the Co, and the P.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Today we started by reading a paper from Physics Today titled DNA-Inspired Electrostatics and by doing some textbook reading to catch up on basic biology and biochemistry. In the afternoon Brian and I learned how to pipet properly. We practiced getting the correct amount of water in 1.5 mL sample tubes with each of the six pipets. After we were done, I had less than a 1% error in the majority of my measurements. However I had significant errors in the 2 and 10 microliter pipets. So I remeasured the water for those pipets. After this second try I got much smaller errors in my measurements. At 4 pm we went to the Lab Safety Training and then called it a day.
Lauren and I started our summer research yesterday. We were given an article about DNA-inspired electrostatics to read. Professor Andresen also gave us numerous textbooks to read so we could learn basic biology and chemistry. In the afternoon, we went to the lab and worked on basic pipetting techniques. We were given the task of transferring water from one vial to 1.5 ml sample tubes. My first attempt was not very good. However I was able to reduce my error bars on my second attempt.