This week in the Williams’ lab has been one of snow and housekeeping genes.

On Tuesday, Snowstorm Juno hit. For 36 hours, snow fell with winds reaching 45 mph, accumulating at about 27”. From inside, the snow almost looked to be falling horizontally. Cars were buried in and around Bates campus. Just two days after Juno ceased, we got some more snow on Friday. The snow was much calmer than on Tuesday, but the flurries continued consistently throughout the day, making the roads slick and the pathways treacherous. Another 9” inches fell Friday, amounting to a week total of 3 feet with more expected on Monday! I’ve lived in Maine my entire life, and I cannot remember a week with so many snowstorms.

Despite the snow, we stayed focused in lab and continued our qPCR. I’ve been having a lot of trouble getting a good housekeeping gene to work and stay consistent across treatments. The housekeeping gene I was using was elfa, which had large biological variation, causing my samples to have large biological variation as well and result in no significant differences. I attempted b-actin, but I didn’t get values for some of my samples. Nick then tried b-actin and was successful! Not only was b-actin constant across treatment, but when used to calculate fold change for a target gene, his treatment and control were significantly different. With a working housekeeping gene we can finish up our qPCR and begin to analyze our results. Once we’ve done this, we can move on to injecting morpholino and knocking down Nfe2, the really exciting stuff.