travel · work

First day in the lab

The lab work mainly consisted of my supervisor doing the work and me watching. It took forever. Part of it was because he was a bit disorganised. The first part involved diluting out primers and I’d never done that before. It involved figuring out what volume is needed to get x concentration from y concentration and I was never good at that. So my supervisor quickly worked our the numbers and I felt a bit lost. I should have said something but I didn’t.
Then we wanted to test out the primers, which put me on firmer ground. It is done heaps differently from what I’ve done at Uni but I think I can catch on pretty quickly to it.

The next step is to run the stuff onto gels, to see if the primers worked (they clone segments of DNA). My supervisor did all of that. It was pretty much like at uni, except they use ethidium bromide, which can lead to cancer. The scarey part is actually heating up the gel. The way my supervisor was talking and acting, it was as if the stuff could blow up or at least boil over and burn your hand. I never had that problem at Uni and I was never cautious. I’m a bit paranoid now…
We didn’t really get a result. Only two out of 30 samples showed anything and they were the wrong size. But my supervisor didn’t design the primers and it was the first time that he had used them so it wasn’t that big a deal.
I’d like to do my own PCR now, to see if I can do it this new way and to get a feel of it. But I don’t think that I will be doing that. My supervisor was talking about injecting zebrafish embryos with DNA all tomorrow morning. That’s a bit exciting, I’ve never done anything like that before. But I’m also nervous that I’ll suck at it, especially since they are so tiny.

I had my first experience with public transport today. I thing that I prefer Melbourne. Aside from the buses, there is only one place in all of Hobart where you can buy tickets from. And you spend forever at each stop because everyone gets on at the front and they either have to validate in front of the driver or buy their ticket off the driver and then validate it. Yep, trams are much better. But at least the stops are further apart.
The walk from the bus stop to the house is only 20min, which is only a little more than back home. But that hill is so steep, it damn near killed me. Maybe I’ll be slightly fitter when I get back home.

This weekend I plan to go to Salamanka Market, which is on every Saturday and right near work. Maybe I’ll find some nice arty crafty stuff (but then, how will I get it home?). Then I’ll go to the tourism building and get some help. Since I’m here, I might as well make the most of my weekends. Hopefully there is a day thing that I can book for Sunday (and get there in time with public transport). I’d also like to go to the chocolate factory but my housemate would like to go there too so maybe I’ll have to do that latter on.


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