Week 2

The title of this post is Week 2 because it’s basically the second week of my holiday. So what did I do?

As well, one (if not, none) of you know, I’m doing a 2 week attachment stint at the Brain Research Institute in university. This week, we basically took genes, artificially put them in plasmids (free <meaning, it’s basically floating around>extra DNA that’s found in bacteria) which are then made to enter the bacteria (we used E. Coli) to replicate. Then we extracted the DNA  after the bacteria is allowed to culture, and replicate many, many, many times, then send the DNA for MORE replication and tagging before sequencing in order to find the DNA sequence of the gene we inserted.

The gene we inserted into the plasmid is considered an “unknown” gene, meaning we don’t know the sequence. So the whole point is to be able to find out what the sequence is. We can’t put the gene in the  replication process first because in order for DNA to be replicated, we need to know the first few bases in order for the enzyme to be able to conduct it’s function. I know.. it’s complicated and stuff.

So was that interesting?

Yeah. but it was tedious. The hours and hours of waiting was …bleh. Next week, we”re going to observe animal behaviour, which hopefully we more interesting.

The best part of this week was yesterday. Like I told Nina, there is a freezer where they keep the fish that die and on this freezer, each researcher has to record their details before disposing the fish: Name of researcher, date, fish size/any other fishy (oh the PUNS!) details. So there’s this one researcher who made these notes:

1. Sadly died.

2. Died tragically.

3. Died tragically, again.

4. Commited suicide due to overfeeding.

As lame as that looks on my blog right now, I was bent over laughing with a few friends. Somehow, it ended up with us talking about how the fish (the one which died tragically) would come out and recite poetry before dying. I know, it’s the saddest joke ever.

On the other hand, it’s been nice to meet the other people in my batch. I know more names now, finally being able to place them with their respective faces which have only passed me in the walkways. And, I found that one of them has excellent (well, similar) taste in books which is always exciting. It’s been a while since storybooks have helped me make a connection. Thank you, Terry Pratchett.

One more week of mental ahead. I’ll keep you updated.

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