Lab starts everyday at 7:00. On Mondays, a general lab meeting lasts until 9:00 in a room shared by the labs on the same floor. During these meetings, each person describes what they have done in the past week and what they plan to do during the upcoming week. Sometimes, someone presents results from a multi-week project or summarizes information learnt through classes and scientific literature. After the meeting, if it’s a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, I attend the morning BSURF seminar. After that, I plan the day’s goals with my mentor. I then work until noon at which point I look for a stopping point to get lunch. After returning thirty minutes later, I work and read literature until at least three o’clock and take the bus back to the apartments.
Most of my days thus far have been focused on confirming DNA plasmids that were shipped to the lab. I streak bacterial stabs received and wait overnight to see single colonies develop on plates. The next day, I culture them in flasks with LB broth overnight. On the third day, I isolate the DNA from the bacteria in the cultures. On the fourth day, I use restriction enzymes to cut the DNA so that I can compare the bands that appear during gel electrophoresis to predicted bands. My other main task thus far has been transfecting Human Embryonic Kidney cells with pre-GRASP and post-GRASP in order to confirm that they are expressed. This required splitting and maintaining tissue cultures and performing lipofection. During the time that I am not confirming plasmids or transfecting cells, I have observed procedures being performed so that I can understand exactly what the protocols are demanding.
The lab occupies three benches of a larger room. The bench I mainly occupy is for work with plasmids. The other two benches are for dissections, microscopes, and dissociations. There is a room that is shared with another lab that has a hood to work in, an EVOS machine for imaging, and two incubators.