Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Day 27: Net Excitement

Three more days to go before my supposed-to-be-deadline-for-everything and I'm doing NOTHING. So much for keeping busy.

Tomorrow is a special day for me and I'm really excited. My excitement, however, is "overpowered" by  this sort of test anxiety regarding Saturday's chemistry board exam simulation. That, however, is overpowered by excitement re my birthday celebration on Saturday. What I really feel right now: net excitement.

I wonder what cake I'll be having. Hmmm.

This was last year's cake, btw.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Day 24: Frustrations

You know what they say... "Nothing is perfect." And my work in the laboratory is no exception. I just have to accept that we don't always get what we want when we want them. We don't always get favorable results on the first try, right? These things... they take time. And that's the sad part. Time is what I don't have right now. And I am even starting to think that maybe 30 days aren't enough. I know it's my own fault. I let myself be distracted by so many things back when I had all the time in the world. So now I am in so much pressure. Maybe this is the reason why I've been acting kind of weird lately. I feel so angry and irritable most of the time. I vent out my frustrations to innocent people. I'm becoming more and more sensitive and emotional. I know all this will be over. I just hope it will all be over soon.

I've got no time to lose. Next week's gonna be one hell of a week for me, I know it. I won't even get to rest and enjoy on my own birthday. Well, that sucks.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Day 22: On Gel Chrom

It's May 5, Day 22 of my thirty-day series.

I'm in the lab right now and today's agenda: Swelling of Sephadex G-100 and column set-up. 

For those of you who have no idea what Gel Chrom (Gel Filtration Chromatography) is about but wanna know more about it, click here.

Actually, Sephadex G-100 takes about three days (at room temperature) to swell BUT this swelling time may be shortened using a boiling water bath. Bottom line: my three-day waiting time is reduced to 5 hours, yeah! And now, three of the five hours have passed. Two more hours to go.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Day Whatever: Partials

I doubt that anyone noticed that I haven't posted anything this week. So much more my 30-day countdown, eh? Anyway, this week I started writing my manuscript, making do with the partial results that I have in hand.

So much to do, so little time.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Day 14: Swimming

The usual centrifugation, SDS-PAGE and Bradford assay... nothing new.

The highlight of my day would probably be the overnight-swimming with my family. A little confession coming up. I'm already 19 y.o. but I still don't know how to swim. But hey, it's ok. I know that I'm not the only one who doesn't :P

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day 13: On Dialysis

Today's agenda: Dialysis.

I've done this for the third time already and here are the steps that I follow in dialyzing my crude protein extract.

Step 1: Wash the dialyzing membrane with distilled water.
Step 2: Soak the membrane in boiling water for five minutes.
Step 3: Wash the membrane with distilled water again.
Step 4: Tie one end of the membrane with a cotton string.
Step 5: Fill the bag up with your sample.
Step 6: Tie the other end of the bag with a cotton string.
Step 7: Suspend the bag inside a container filled with the dialyzing buffer.
Step 8: Place the container inside a bucket packed with ice.
Step 9: Stir the dialyzing buffer using a magnetic rod and stirrer.
Step 10: Allow dialysis to proceed for several hours.
Step 11: Change the dialyzing buffer then resume dialysis. Change the buffer after every several hours.
Step 12: Allow dialysis to proceed until the required amount of time is achieved.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day 12: Merlin

Yes. Merlin, the TV series, is what I am up to right now. And I'm lovin' it. 


Here's a little bonus for all you reading me (except for my thesismates). 

A FREE MEAL for the first one who correctly guesses the two things I did in the laboratory today, April 21, 2010. Of course, these "things" have something to do with my thesis. And YES, a free meal to the first one who guesses correctly. I promise. Comment your answer(s). Good luck! [Bonus valid only until 7 pm, April 22, 2010.]

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day 11: Sick

Day 11. 

Nothing exciting happened today. Bradford assay here, SDS-PAGE there. Bradford and SDS-PAGE over and over again. Nothing new, really. Sometimes when you do something over and over again, you just get sick of it. BUT I cannot afford to "get sick of it." No, not now.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Day Ten: Garfield

Day 10. One day wasted. If there's one word that would best describe myself today, it would be "unproductive."  If there were two words that would best describe myself today, they would be "very unproductive." You get the idea... I was just not in the mood to do anything today. Maybe because it's Monday. Monday is like my bum day, if there's such a thing. Every Monday I feel so tired and sleepy and lazy.

Call me Garfield 'coz I hate Mondays.

I need a heavy dose of discipline here!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Days Eight and Nine: Donuts

Day Eight post came out a little... uhm... late and I'm sorry for that. These past two days went by in a flash and I've been very busy and tired. 

Day 8: Dialyzed sample for 24 hours and prepared a total of 6 liters of 10 mM β-mercaptoethanol.

Day 9: SDS-PAGE and Bradford Assay.

And now, to sort of "reward" myself for this week's accomplishments, I bought myself my favorite bavarian- and strawberry-filled donuts! YEAH! Am planning to buy some DVD's later, too. Happy weekend, everyone!

What's with the short posts? Hahaha!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Day Seven: Overtime

Day seven. It's six o'clock in the evening and we're still in the laboratory. Talk about overtime, eh? I feel so accomplished although I still have SO MANY things to do.

Today's agenda:
1. Prepare extraction buffer
2. Extract crude protein from sample
3. Prepare dialysis buffer
4. Centrifuge to obtain crude protein extract

Tomorrow is dialysis day. Wish me luck :)

I'll try to get home before 8 pm. Don't wanna miss Adam Lambert on AI! For those who still haven't watched, here's a little spoiler for ya': 'American Idol' Top 9: Elvis Has Most Definitely Left The Building - Reality Rocks!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Day Six: Pain

Day Six. 

My whole body's in pain. Clearly, trekking and hiking... not for me! I just wanted to lie in bed the whole day but, of course, I couldn't. I had to go back to the lab and grind my 16 grams of dehulled mungbean seeds.

Before dehulling:

After dehulling:

Grinding mungbeans using a mortar and pestle, for me, is more difficult than dehulling using a scalpel. I spent about three hours grinding and I hated every minute of it. Good arm exercise though, try it!

Short post. Tired. Wanna go back to bed. Whole body still hurts from yesterday's adventure. Arms, back, legs, feet. Ouch. Can someone lend me a wheelchair?

Oh, and I so can't wait for this week's episodes of American Idol. Adam Lambert as mentor and he will also be performing on results night! Something to look forward to , eh? :D

Monday, April 12, 2010

Day Five: Slipped Again. And Again. And Again.

WHEW! One word. Adventure. Haha. Let's start from the beginning.

There's been a slight change of plans. No lab today. Took care of registration matters.

1. Got my Form 5 and my classcard. Now registered for Summer 2010. 1 unit. Thesis. And, thanks to TFE (tuition fee exemption) I didn't pay a cent (usually, during regular sems I pay P45.50).

2. Invited friends for Slurpee.

3. Followed some touring new freshmen for 5 minutes.

4. Ran into chem friends who were about to go sampling way, way over there and went with them :) 

So we all went "trekking" and uhm... I don't have to tell you how many times I slipped off rocks. I'm not the athletic kind, obviously, and I was wearing a not-a-trekking-skirt skirt which added to the fun of it all. I could feel my knees shaking as I took my steps. But thanks to the PATIENCE and moral support of my friends, I survived! YEAH! 'Twas a good and fun experience for me. Hmmm... maybe I should start doing things like this, you know, to burn out excess calories! Good workout, I'd say.

Now I am in serious need of a bath and am dead tired. I plan to relax by dehulling more mungs. With the help of my sister, I now have more than 200 pieces of dehulled beans. Yey.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Day Four: Slipped

April 9. Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valour), public holiday here in the Philippines. Honestly, I had no idea what this holiday's about (or maybe I did have an idea before when I was younger but have forgotten already). So I Googled.

"On April 9, 1942, 75,000 Filipino and American soldiers surrendered to the Japanese at the tip of the Bataan Peninsula, which juts into Manila Bay in the Philippines. For nearly five months, the troops had fought ferociously against overwhelming odds until they ran out of food and water, medical supplies and ammunition. As prisoners of war (POWs), they and thousands of Filipinos were taken to a camp run by the Japanese army. This grueling series of marches are now known as the Bataan Death March." (Source: Wiki)

Now, I know. And then what?

Anyway, today was supposed to be dehulling-mungbeans day but all my tiredness from this week's labbing had kicked in big time. So my day turned out to be sleeping-eating-and-going-to-the-mall-with-my-family day instead. Ergo, still no dehulled mungbeans. Here are my mungs, all still green.

I have to say though that not-dehulling mungs is not the main event of my day. This is: slipping on wet floor in the mall. So I slipped and fell flat on the floor. My left foot still hurts a little bit. Thank goodness the mall was already closing when that happened so not much people were around to witness my minor accident. Slipping for me is not actually something new. I'm a very clumsy person. I always slip and trip over things. Graceful much? 

*You got me trippin', stumblin', slippin', tumblin'*... Well, you know the rest :)

My activities for tomorrow are something to look forward to. Will have a little get-together with friends and then overnight swimming with my family. Better ready my digicam now. Good night!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Day Three: Yet Again

Day three, SDS-PAGE (yet again). Checked on my 2nd electrophoretogram (from Day Two). It's better than the last one (from Day One), no bowling alleys but still not good. :(

Anyway, today's SDS-PAGEing went quite well, probably the result of our two days of practice. I haven't seen the output yet (destaining still in progress) but I sure hope it's better than the last. We'll see on Monday. 

Am not labbing tomorrow. Holiday. Long weekend ahead but I will keep myself busy by dehulling mungbeans. Mmmm... fun! 

Short post much? Blame this major headache!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Day Two: The Bowling Alley Phenomenon

Of the 24 hours of Day Two, nine hours were spent in the lab. First thing I did was to check on the now-completely-destained electrophoretogram from our first SDS-PAGE attempt (see Day One). What it looked like? Hmmm, let's just say that we have discovered a new electrophoretogram phenomenon. The people in the lab called it The Bowling Alley Phenomenon. Here's a snippet of the actual electrophoretogram.

Bowling Alley Phenomenon, get it?

Anyway... Today's agenda: SDS-PAGE attempt #2 and Bradford assay attempt #... uhm... Bradford assay, period. Bradford assay, quite successful ---> proof that, indeed, practice makes perfect. Our assay was not yet perfect, though. But we're getting there. :) SDS-PAGE? Failure (yet again). But as I've said, practice makes perfect. We'll get there sometime. :)

Tonight I'm gonna resume my Heroes Season 4 marathon. Or maybe I'll just finish reading Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters. Whichever I choose to do, I'll do it while eating Bavarian-flavored donuts.

Tomorrow's agenda: SDS-PAGE attempt #3 and summer 2010 registration.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day One: SDS-PAGEing

Day One.

Woke up to a HOT morning thinking, "Must catch the 10:30-am shuttle to IPB. Must catch the 10:30-am shuttle to IPB." As I was getting dressed, I imagined myself looking at an electrophoretogram with perfect bands and without a single tear. Hey, I can dream, can't I? I have never PAGEd anything before but I had this impression that PAGEing would be such a hassle - from preparing all the necessary solutions, to preparing the gels, and to very carefully removing the ultrathin (exaggerating, of course) finished product from the glass plates.

Anyway, it was... uhm... not as hard as I imagined (maybe because the necessary solutions have already been prepared) but I'm not saying it's easy. I know I'll master the art of SDS-PAGEing (uhm) someday (?)

So, today's five hours were spent in the lab. And the fruit of our labor? Well, let's just say it's not the perfect electrophoretogram I had imagined. There was a "minor punit" and I haven't seen the bands yet (destaining in progress) - that's something to look forward to tomorrow.

To celebrate Day one, I took some pictures of the place that will serve as my 2nd home for a month. The Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB). 

I could get used to the view. :D

Monday, April 5, 2010

Day Zero

Today is Day Zero. Tomorrow is Day One. May 15, 2010 is Day 30.

The past month has been one hell of a month. Too many meltdowns in such a short period of time. But now I am leaving all that behind and as a part of my new-month-new-outlook plan, I've decided to start a blog. YEY. I know I'll be busy enough with my thesis this summer but I need something to keep me together.

I'm not much of a writer (blogging's not really my thing) but I've written countless laboratory reports already. How different are they really? HAHA

"Why Day Zero?", you may ask. Well, as implied by the opening statements of this post, my 30 days of summer starts tomorrow (the day I'll be going back to the lab for my thesis after three weeks of hiatus --> very important day) and ends on May 15 (the official end of summer classes here in the university --> very important day as well). Weekends except for May 15 excluded. Since today is the day before Day One, then today is Day Zero? (Dumb moment here) Anyway, hopefully, by Day 30 I will have accomplished EVERYTHING, academic-wise.

Today, Day Zero, I submitted a progress report to my thesis adviser. Oh, and I also had my first ever Slurpee. Yes, first ever! At least I've accomplished something today, eh? Probably later I'll resume my Heroes Season 4 marathon. On the 6th or 7th episode already. Many more to go.

Oh, and I am so looking forward to subject my mungbean albumin extract to sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) tomorrow. There's a first time for everything. Wish me luck!