“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” Henry David Thoreau

I’ve been told that getting lost is the way you learn your way around places.  Yesterday, I got lost not once but two times.  The first time, I was attempting to find Dr. Fujimori’s culture room which happens to be located in an entirely different building from his main office.  I ran up and down multiple floors trying not to look so obviously disoriented but to no avail.  Of course everyone is extremely nice and helpful here but it’s not necessarily any easier to find your way when you don’t understand the language of your helper and vice versa.  Thankfully the Japanese are extremely nice and wonderfully patient and I was eventually found and brought to the correct cell-culturing room that I meant to find in the first place.

Once there, Dr. Fujimori had us distribute multiple cell lines (brain tumour, colon cancer, etc.) into flasks so that they could be irradiated.  After incubation, we exposed them to various doses (2, 4, and 6 Gy) of radiation and then placed them into another incubator.  Later, we fixed the cells onto slides and then treated with goat anti-body.  Apparently we will be assessing DNA Repair characteristics via a protein marker that is specific to these (brain & colon) cancer cell lines.  Of course there is way more to it than what I’ve just described but I will describe more as we progress and when I understand more.

The second time I got lost it was not physically but most definitely intellectually; I attempted to understand a seminar with two presentations in Japanese.  All I could gather was that the first presentation was on miRNA and DNA repair markers having some control over regulation of radio-sensitivity.  The second presentation was given by Hiro (see 7/5 post for picture of him) and was on a HSB 90 (a heat-shock protein) Inhibitor called 17 AGG and its effect on radio-sensitization of mouse tumour cells.  Again, I was saved by a very patient person by the name of Dr. Chris Allen.  Chris is an associate professor in the ERHS department at CSU and is here to use the HIMAC (Heavy Ion Medical Accelerator) for his own research.  Chris’s understanding of the two presentations was just about as limited as mine since he also does not understand Japanese.  HeeHee.  However, he was able to explain some of the DNA repair basics associated with heat-shock proteins to me and my mind did not feel quite so deviated.

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  1. I can’t seem to be able to reach this site from my smartphone!!

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