Sunday, 20 July 2014


What a busy busy week! (But also a really cut up and inbetweeny one). No ovaries this week because of the lab away days but there are loads coming next week so a lot of my time was spent making media (or cacking it up as the case may be) and learning a bit about PCR! I also had all of my old housemates staying with me so they could graduate (don’t leave me!) CONGRATS TO THEM ALL!

So, at the start of the week I went about learning what the PCR fragment analyser actually is/does (with the help of Evi and her notes, obviously). Basically, what this massive noisy machine does it estimate the size and amounts of DNA fragments as well as the alleles that they represent. What we’re using it for is to see if we can determine the sex of a pig embryo based on the presence of a specific gene.  To get it going you have to pull out loads of fragile looking things and replace them with even fragilerer things! You then load your samples and a ladder which you’ve previously PCR’d and voila, after a few hours you’ll get some nice graphs showing you what was inside.

Why so sad Beckman? (Kinda looks like a sad/happy snowman)

Making the media was a fun experience…it was all going fantastic just chilling in the IVF lab with no aircon (the piggies don’t like it) during some of the hottest days ever until it got to the bits where I needed to measure the pH of the stuff. Stupid pH machine absolutely hates me (yes, that is possible) and it took an age for it to decide to tell me what I wanted (this is after 3 people recalibrating it!). If it wasn’t so useful and expensive I would’ve hurt it but instead I just gave it a piece of my mind and moved on. Naughty pH meter. To top it all off, clever Daniella over here thought she knew what she was doing so went straight ahead and put all of the media she’d spent the last few hours straight into the incubator…it lives in the fridge…D’OH. And that day’s life lesson was that Daniella knows nothing. I joke, it’s to thoroughly read instructions.

In the bin!

On Friday I spent the day remaking everything (the silly pH meter lied to me and forced me to have to remake one or two agaaaain) but practise makes perfect and I WILL become the Media Queen.  The media are now all nicely resting in the fridge and are ready and waiting for their time to shine when the ovaries are delivered next week (Woohoo more hoovering)!  

I hate you.

The lab away days were fantastic! A great opportunity to get out of the lab and discuss what’s been going on, future plans and, of course, do some “team-building” (also known as a fantastic excuse to play ridiculous games like blindfolded maze and the box game). It was crazy sunny and absolutely beautiful. It was great seeing everyone a bit more relaxed than their usual crazy lab-selves and I’m very grateful to have been invited along! 

Just down the road from the Lab Away Day, so puuuurdy!

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