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

Thursday and Friday

Yesterday was such a busy day, so I wasn't even able to blog. But today I got it covered. During class we discussed some articles we read the previous night about New Deal Liberalism and the Charlie Chaplin film we watched. We talked about why the FBI, especially Hoover were so engaged in Chaplin's life and how they spent a huge portion of their time watching his every move and trying to prove that he was a communist.

After this great discussion, our teacher treated us to some Ben & Jerry's ice cream which myself and a few other of my classmates politely declined. As soon as we stepped foot out of Ben & Jerry's, the sun miraculously appeared. :) Finally!

We returned to class and watched 4 short cartoons about capitalism and how "America is the finest place in the world to live in." When the films ended we talked about them and the suspicions and anxieties about capitalism and big businesses before and after WWI and WWII.

Today in class we talked about how enviormental concerns actually began in the late 40s and not in the 60s. We watched Grapes of Wrath and discussed whether or not the film would have gotten the same criticism as Monsieur Verdoux if it would have been released in the late 40s or 50s.

I can't wait until tomorrow and Sunday! I will able to see Harvard, MIT and all the other wonderful colleges and possibly be able to meet Ms. Ruth Simmons. This will definitely be a great weekend.

Bones continued....

Today we learned about the Skeletal System and Joint cagtegories. Some students also presented their inquisitions. We finished up on learning about joints and we had to pick out a bone to draw and label which is due Tuesday.... Monday we will be taking a CPR class and we will be visiting students who are working on research projects and and interviewing them that should be fun!
We got a box full of bones and we had to identify the different parts of each bone and what type of hinge it has like a ball and socket or saddle. My group finished two hours before class was over because instead of socializing we got right away into doing our work! :)
Since our Dean T was not able to stay with us for the afternoon the TA's ran the lab. So since the whole class finished an hour early they let us go.
Today there was also a social event going on (a dance) I went to go have some fun and take a little break from all the studying.

A Sunny Day!

After so many days of clouds and rain, we finally had a sunny day here in Providence!

Well, today in class we watched the movie "A Beautiful Mind" in class. It's about John Nash, who developed schizophrenia while studying at Princeton University. As Mercedes said, he starts believing he is encoding messages for the government and must protect himself against the Russian spies. I think watching this movie really helped understand what people with this disorder go through everyday. I watched this movie during my foundations class when I was a freshman, but when I watched it again this time, more aspects of the movie made sense. I never really knew about this disorder, so after reading The Quiet Room and listening to Dr. J's lectures about it, I seemed to understand so much more about everything - his movements and his hallucinations.

After finishing lunch, I got straight to work on my week's reading reflection paper. We were supposed to write a 2-page paper about our reading and I found this fairly easy since we've talked about the book so much. It was actually a bit hard to limit what I was going to write about.

In addition to writing my paper, I also read the study I mentioned earlier The Power of Conformity since my group will be planning out our presentation tomorrow during lunch. I found the study very interesting. Basically, one must have seven "participants" who were actually allies of the experimenter and one actual participant. The subjects would be shown one card with a single line and another card with three lines of different lengths. Each person would then be asked to identify which out of the three lines is the same length as the standard line. Everyone answers in a line with the actual participant at the end of the line. For the first two trials, everyone will give the same, obvious answer. However, during the next trial, the first participants will choose the wrong line in order to see how the last person will answer. Surprisingly, to me anyways, around 75% went along with the group's wrong answer! I can't wait to talk to my group and find out how we are going to present out topic in our 25-minute time slot.

Now, I'm going to try to read a bit for my homework since I know this will be an extremely busy weekend. And I can't wait!