Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Week #1

We picked up this summer almost exactly where I left off my training with Savannah. Since I first started, the organization of the lab had been bothering me. Especially the bookshelf, I just did found the entropy to be too high. This is no longer the case! A very thorough cleaning has left us with several empty drawers, an alphabetized bookcase and an alphabetized cabinet of  samples. Additionally, I prepared all of the samples required to calibrate the ICP and the calculations required to do so. This process included massing several solutions and then diluting them to a specific concentrations. After I had done this Professor Andresen believed that I was qualified enough to write my very first Wiki article on the subject. The process of creating my very first wiki page was exhilarating, it feels almost like a child to me now. Today, Wednesday, I was almost able to set up the ICP machine by myself. My goal for today is to run the ICP on the samples that I prepared yesterday. Below is a picture from my notebook of the theoretically calculated masses of the samples I prepared and below the theoretical masses are the actual ones.
Thursday I worked with Jose and he taught me how to prepare the TRIS-HCl solution that I had used previously in my TE buffer. Later I taught him how to use the UV-Vis machine, although we ran into some troubles with it. Apparently the machine was attempting to connect to its thermal regulator however, there was non connected to the machine. Using this machine should of taken less then a half hour but through a series of mishaps it ended up taking at least an hour and a half with some professor guidance. I also helped Jose learn how to shear DNA. Originally we were doing this in Professor Frey's lab, however she has since moved the Sonic probe and the DLS machine to the Pchem laboratory. This was a pretty good move to get this out of her office space, as the noise the probe makes is one of the most unpleasant things I've ever heard. 
Friday we kicked it off with a pretty productive group meeting that left everyone with a nice list of things that they could work on. My tasks included using the UV-Vis machine, helping Amlan shear DNA, using the DLS and Zeta machine. Towards the end of the day it was looking like I was going to accomplish everything until I found that my saved file on the UV-Vis machine was lost. Additionally, another student was now using the UV-Vis machine in Professor Thompson's lab. I then returned to Professor Andresen's lab to use the UV-Vis machine there. Unfortunately we were once again accosted with technological mishaps. We threw in the towel and decided to deal with UV-Vis on Monday morning. I ended my first week reading a very helpful research paper outside in front of the fountain. 

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