Sunday, August 8, 2010

Time flies like an arrow... but fruit flies like a banana

HAHAHA sorry about the corny title, but after writing "time flies" I was reminded of that joke that my little sister, Heidi, told me :)

I just got back from a short trip to London with the other American interns here. I'm not going to go into details of the trip yet, or any of the other weekend trips I've taken over the past few weeks - I got behind in writing about them so I'm just going to jump to the present now and catch up with pictures/stories later when I have more time. So here is another short IMEC update.

I FINALLY got my desorption experiments to start working consistently, but of course I only have about a week and a half left now. I feel like with research its very easy to have a plan or goal to reach in a certain amount of time, but then some "simple" part of the process is unexpectedly time consuming. So now that I've past that slow part and the end of summer is near, time seems to pass much quicker! Someone from Hopkins is coming to IMEC on Wednesday-Friday, and we have to give a presentation on Thursday, so I'm working on that this week. But in addition to the experiments I've done all summer with fluorescent antibodies, I would like to include desorption of fluorescent DNA. I'm hoping that will work on the first try... since thats all I'll have time to do! It's going to be a busy week.

Since its summer and people get a lot of vacation time in Belgium, various people that I work with, or who make samples for me in the clean room (I'm not trained for the clean room) keep going on holiday for a few weeks at a time. It hasn't made anything impossible, but I keep having to track down a new person, so it might have actually saved time if I had been trained to make my own. A couple people in the group are actually traveling around the United States after a conference right now, which is funny since I'm sort of doing the same thing, but in Europe.

Last week, I also started using CorelDRAW, which I'm pretty excited about because my schematics will look more professional. In the past, I briefly struggled with Adobe Illustrator, but for some reason that software and I did not get along. I never took the time to figure it out and just resorted to basic PowerPoint figures. I am finding CorelDRAW to be much more user friendly for me, without any extra effort. I also downloaded a trial version of IgorPro onto my work PC to plot my data. I'm not doing any fancy analysis with it, but the graphs look much more professional than an Excel plot.

Thats all for now... I need to work on my presentation and/or get some sleep.

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