Author Archive

El Fin

WARNING: This is my last post, visa-vi it will be corny and mushy. If the movie Titanic or hallmark cards make you nauseas please do not continue.

Hello there everyone! No, I did not forget about you all, I’ve just been busy moving around (finally at my final place!). In my last days in the lab we had been working on DCPS, we sent in some samples for sequencing and unfortunately did not get anything successful. We also ran a couple more PCRs on DCPS and DCP2 and yesterday we sent in some more samples of DCPS for sequencing. The PCR on DCPS did work; I think that in the end we finally got that stage of DCPS down, though unfortunately the PCR on DCP2 did not work.

In the end I was able to understand how to get good PCR results on both DCPS and DCP1 and a good looking protein gel on DCP1. I was not able to successfully purify any proteins but even being able to successfully synthesize DCP1 makes me happy!

I would like to thank everyone in the Wilusz lab for helping me with this fellowship: Alan, Jeff, Fumi, Emily, Kevin, Ashley, Sai, Carolina, Alexa, Amber, Jerome, John, Stephanie, and Carol. I really enjoyed working in the lab for this fellowship and I am grateful for the opportunity to have done so. I would also like to thank Erin and Jes for letting me contribute to this awesome blog! And I would like to thank Alan for putting up with me all summer and for teaching me so much in the lab!

The end of each experience brings about a beginning to a new one. Most fear this transition because of the unknown obstacles that lie ahead, though with all the advice given to me from my friends in the Wilusz lab I feel confident and ready to take on new challenges. Thank you so much for everything!

And thank you to all the readers that have followed my experience in the lab! Research is something I recommend to everyone, it’s something new, interesting, and very rewarding to try. Farewell for now everyone.

Becca T


Ice Ice, baby Ice

Or however that song went. Howdy doody everyone? Hope everyone’s weekend was nice and safe! Sorry about the lack of post on Thursday, I was without internet so that made it kind of difficult to post -just sayin.

Anyways, Alan and I have been trying to get DCP2 and DCPS before my last day and we just sent in DCPS for sequencing! DCP2 has been giving us some trouble and we haven’t been able to get a successful PCR off that one, though we have only used the new oligos we had ordered once. It would be uber sweet if we could get DCPS, since we were able to get a good protein gel on DCP1 back in June. But as the days start to wind down I think we will just try to get DCPS “even if it kills us” according to Alan.

Since my last day has been approaching I’ve been trying to work on some papers to turn into ASM to let them know how my “research experience” went and what I thought about it all. I also have to make an abstract to submit to the Spring 2011 ASM meeting and I hope it gets accepted because the meeting is in Louisiana! That would be cool beans!

Today was a rather fun day! The freezer needed defrosting so we got to clear it out and chisel out all of the ice! I knocked off one piece that was the size of my head! I was like WHOA! It was pretty epic- and cold- and wet.

Ahem, well my last post will be this Thursday! So until next time

Becca T

Body World

Aloha everyone! No, I’m not in Hawaii; I just wanted to start with something new. It turns out that the re PCR of DCPS seems to have worked so we started the ligation process yesterday.

Today Alan and I did not go into the lab, but instead went to go to the Body World exhibit. The exhibit was so cool! And I was less creeped out then I thought I would be (double bonus)! It was all put together so artistically and you get so engrossed in it that you almost forget that all the displays were real people. It was interesting to learn and see all these things about the heart and body and even think, hey I learned that in biology! (Yes, I am that nerdy). I think the creepiest/coolest part there was the baby fetus exhibit. You could see what a fetus looks like at different stages of a pregnancy, and I was born almost two months early, so it was neat to see how small I was. Going from that small to over six feet tall must have knocked my parents off there cahoots! But Body World was truly amazing and I would like to thank Alan and his dad for letting me tag along!

Other than that, things have been relatively slow. My last day of the fellowship is next Friday, so next Thursday will be my last post. And I have no internet where I am staying at the moment, so I will try my very best to post this Thursday. Until next time, Aloha!

Becca T

Bread Pudding Doesn’t Belong There

Yesterday was no ordinary day in the lab, well out of the lab to be exact. We all took a hike up Horsetooth for some lab bonding time. The view was beautiful! And the slight overcast was perfect to keep us cool. Jeff was uber giddy to bring his doggy Hank, and everyone made it up and down safe and sound (double points for rhyming – sort of). After the hike, Jeff and Carol were kind enough to treat us to Famous Dave’s BBQ. It was all so delicious, and Kevin, Fumi, and Emily were able to down a family feast at the expense of their health. At least they still have their pride. I got to try bread pudding for the first time, and might I say no amount of therapy will ever make that experience ok. It may be the fact I don’t really like the taste of soggy french toast, but it could also be the fact that it was coming out of my nose from laughing to hard. Either way, that might be the first and last time I have that eastern coast delicacy. A hard night’s sleep and a few ulcers later lead us to today.

Today in the lab Alan and I have restarted on DCPS and DCP2. We did an RT PCR on both and then a re PCR on
both. As I wont be in tomorrow, Alan will run some gels tomorrow to see if we got the fragments of our enzymes or not. On that note I bid you all adieu, and have a great weekend!

Becca T

Bad Danny

Holy guacamole! Where did the time go!? Sorry about the skipped post everyone, but I’m finally at house 1 of 3 of the places I will be until the fall. I’m very thankful my friend Justine let me crash at her place for a week! Well now back to business!

So we got our DCPS sequenced and unfortunately it doesn’t seem there is a fit. We haven’t had the time to look at the sequence of XRN1, but that one’s pretty stubborn so I don’t have my hopes up for that. We ran a protein gel on our purification of DCP1 and LSM1 and there is a possibility something is there, but the band is really faint so we are going to have to find a way to concentrate it more.

And today I had a lab presentation which went pretty well. I think.  I made these little cartoons and made some of the lab laugh pretty hard because one of my cartoons looked,well let’s just say I shouldn’t have added yellow in a certain place I did and it made it look like Danny the DNA was relieving himself! oops. Hahahaha. I said a couple of wrong things, but eh, I tried my best and there were only a few sly remarks.  Also, I brought caprisun and cookies (always a classic) which turned out to be a hit (score).

Well I am off to go finish organizing/unpacking! I hope everyone’s week is nice and I’ll post again Thursday!

Becca T

Hurry Up and Wait

Well hey there again! Alan and I have been working on DCPS and XRN1 still. We ran a gel to see which colonies we picked had our fragments in the bacteria’s plasmid and I think the gel turned out good, but we will send them for sequencing soon I hope!
Tomorrow we are going to work on running a protein gel to see if our purification of the LSM1 and DCP1 proteins worked so that I can have more to present at our lab meeting next week. I was able to get a protein gel on these in June and Alan started the purification but never ran the gel. So hopefully that works!

Next week me and the other undergrad (Amber) are going to present our results and whatnot to our lab at our lab meeting, so I’ve been trying to work on getting pictures and more results for my presentation.

Unfortunately not a ton of exciting stuff has been happening recently, as Alan always says “Microbiology is a lot of hurry up and wait”. We have to hurry on mixing and pipetting, but then we have to wait for the machines to run. That’s why for the waiting, I keep my handy Sudoku book nearby…score. Most of the time, we try to start or finish other things while we wait, but if we start too much at once, we could overwhelm ourselves when we have to finish it all.

Also, I’ve begun packing and moving, so if I get so caught up with that, that I forget about posting Thursday, I apologize ahead of time. But I will do my best! Hasta luego y buenos noches mi amigos!

Becca T

Short, Sweet, and to the Point

Hey everyone! I just have a small update today. It seems that XRN1 and DCPS have seemed to works so now we are putting our fragments into bacteria plasmids so that we can send them in for sequencing to see if they are indeed the fragments we think they are! Other than that, nothing too much exciting to report unfortunately.

I also have a work presentation coming up in two weeks so I’m starting to prepare for that! The other undergrad and I are going to present our findings so far, though I am worried about how much I will have to present hahaha. So I am adding a small surprise to the presentation. hazah.

Well that’s it for the small update; I hope everyone’s weekend is great and dandy! I’m heading off camping; hopefully the weather will be nice for a hike too! Anyone got anything exciting planned?

Becca T