Happy 4th of July! Post by Sophie Salas ’15
This week has been very eventful in the Williams lab.
On Monday, we restructured our entire experiment. We realized that we could not achieve everything we originally had planned using our current procedure, so we altered the experiment to make it feasible in the four remaining weeks without sacrificing reliable data.
After a couple hours of scrambling the schedule, we finally worked it out to accomplish all of our new goals, with not an hour to spare. We have no time for errors, so everyone’s got to be on top of their game. We’ll be double- no triple- checking every measurement. The new plan was a huge relief and reinvigorated us, we now felt like we could collect comprehensive data that would not have any holes by the end of July.
On Tuesday, we dosed our first embryos, knocking out two of the 24 experiments we’ll run in the next month. I was very excited to see what we’d get as results- would we see the deformities predicted? Would the dose be too high? Would enough fish survive to last through the time points? During this experiment I got to experience my first 3 am imaging shift. While it was a struggle waking up, I’ll admit it was not as bad as I predicted. I also got to see the sunrise, which was absolutely gorgeous.
In other news, this week at MDIBL all the undergrads have been busy making a float for the Bar Harbor 4th of July parade. Our theme: Maine under a microscope. In addition to building a giant microscope out of boxes we’re making organisms found around either Maine or the lab. These include sand dollars, starfish, skates, killifish, green crabs, C.elegans on a petri dish, and, of course, zebrafish. Katie, Roshni, and I worked on the zebrafish (since we’re now experts after hours of imaging). Katie designed and colored the fish, I was mostly in charge of cutting them out.
More challenging than you’d think when my most effective tool was a steak knife. The float will also have waves, Cadillac Mountain, blueberries, and flags on flags. Everything’s really coming along, it’ll look great once it’s all assembled. It’s truly been a team effort, and it’ll be a great way to represent the lab in the parade on Friday. Happy 4th everybody!