Friday, June 26, 2009

My Days

Today, i woke up at 7:46, before my alarm clock even went off. Then, i showered, brushed my teeth, and went to meet dennis for breakfast at 8:23. we walked up to the vw, where i had a mixture of cheerios and lucky charms (cheerios are too boring and lucky charms are too sweet.) Then, i walked over to the biomedical building, and went down the elevator to the first floor, to room 112d, where my morning laboratory session meets. As soon as i got into the lab, i put my stuff down at my bench, next to my lab partner Aidan, and walked down into the basement to fill my bucket with ice.

In the lab, we were running a gel electrophoresis, which is the separation of DNA fragments through an agarose gel.
First, we mixed calf thymus DNA with a buffer containing SAM. then, we filled our eppendorf tubes with this mixture, distilled water, and EcoRI methylase, which locates EcoR1 sites, and places a methyl group in the middle of the sequence. This prevents the EcoRI (a restriction endonuclease) from reading the genetic code. We incubated this mixture at 37 degrees celcius for twenty minutes, and then added EcoRI to some of the tubes. to the others, we added HindIII. we incubated this mixture at thirty seven degrees celcius for twenty minutes also. Meanwhile, we set up our gels. to do this, we melted agarose in an oven, and then mixed in four microliters of ethydium bromide (which is a mutagen, thus requiring extreme care). we poured this mxture into our gel tray, which contained a small comb, and then let the gel sit for ten minutes so that it would harden. Finally, we covered the gel with TE buffer. Once our DNA mixture was done incubating, we added loading die, which not only adds visibility, but also weighs down the sample, forcing it to stay in the holes left by the comb. finally, using a micropipette, we insert ten microliters of each of our six solutions into the holes. Then, we connected the whole thing to a power source, and ran a current through the gel at 127 volts. Because DNA is negatively charged, it flows towards the cathode. Because the gel is a viscous permeable substance, the smaller pieces of dna have an easier time moving through the gel. this seperated the pieces of dna by size. we left this hooked up for about an hour, and when we finished, we removed the gel from the loading dock, and placed it into a uv photographing booth. DNA absorbs the UV light, but because ethydiuym brtomide is a planer molecule, it has imbedded itself into the DNA. Thus, the light absorbed by the DNA is transfered to the ethydium bromide, which releases visible orange light, then, we photographed this, which allowed us to determine the number of base pairs in each dna area, based on how many centimeters it had travelled. The purpose of this lab was to show the effects of the methylase on the restriction endonuclease. tubes which contained the methylase showed that the DNA had not been cleaved, while tubes without it showed multiple bands of dna of different lengths, which shows the dna molecule has been cleaved,

After we finished this, we broke for lunch, where i again met dennis. I had a hamburger with tobasco sauce, lettuce, tomato, and provolone cheese, on a white bun. In addition to this, i had a glass of minute made cranberry juice mixed with minute made orange juice, and a cup of soft serve, whipped cream, multicolored sprinkles, and a waffle cone. When i finished this, i went to the lecture hall where we briefly asked each other for our names, because we were having a quiz on the names and faces of people in our class.

In Addition, the professor gave a brief description of the cloning and dna splicing activities we will do next week. After class, i turned in the weeks assignments (three lab reports) and the name quiz, in addition to a quiz based on the the weeks labs. When the rest of the clss left, i stayed behind to talk to the professor because i've been having a lot of trouble with the class. She was extremely helpful, and went over some of the basics that i was confused about, and spent about half an hour explaining them to me. finally, because i still didn't understand everything, she gave me an introduction to biology text book which i could study over the weekend to help me catch up. She is so helpful!

when i finished talking to Jody, i walked back to my dorm room to change because it had started raining again. also, i had a brief conversation with my mother, who was worried about me because i didn't call last night. (I didn't call because i accidently fell asleep for the night at 8:30. (this is also why i didn't blog yesterday. Sorry!)) Then, i went to Gina's room to get the laundry detergent. I hate doing laundry, especially because it costs money in the dorms. After this, Courtney and i walked over to the bus stop to go to the mall, which is where i am now.

Tonight, we are going to watch transformers two, IM SO EXCITED. we were going to watch it in imax, but unfortunately, the seats are all sold out. what a bummer. When we get back from the movie, we are going to go to the decades dance in the keeney quad, It should be fun, but we are unsure how to dress, since none of us brought clothes for it.

Then tomorrow, its off to Boston!

Until then,
Joseph Young

1 comment:

Don Gosney said...

Good to hear from you, Joseph. We were beginning to worry since we hadn't heard from you in some time.

That's a bummer about the whole laundry thing. You might try coordinating things with some of your friends so you can trade off on doing the laundry and maybe sharing the machines to cut down on the cost. It's kind of like at home where I'm betting that everyone's whites get thrown in at the same time rather than splitting them up just for you, just for your Mom and just for your Dad.

I also hope that you get over your concerns about not understanding some of what's being taught to you. It's tough to walk into a class where you may not be as up to speed on the basics as you thought. You'll run into a lot of that before you finally graduate college.