Semester two progress

As the snow piles, so does work and the anticipation for graduation.

As someone who has yet to apply for a future job or schooling, the prospect of graduation is daunting. Balancing thesis lab, other classes as well as planning the future has been a more difficult prospect than anticipated in previous years. During this years February break I am really going to start applying for jobs, and getting my life together in a general sense.

In respect to lab work, testing gene responsiveness to diquat has proven more difficult than predicted. We recently found out that half our qPCR machine is not working and had been throwing off our results. Sadly this means going back and testing genes that were plated past row A7. This means past housekeeping gene primers that were thought not to amplify may actually work. Much more work is ahead! This experience is teaching me that science is unpredictable, but highlights the importance of analyzing data with a skeptical eye. I am also going to try a new housekeeping gene found in an article published by Callard, hopefully this housekeeping gene will be more stable than previous genes tested. However, overall I am optimistic on how lab working is progressing. My pipetting skills have improved dramatically and have given me confidence in lab. I completed testing oxidative stress response genes for time point 96 hpf, and I am half way done with testing oxidative stress response genes for 48 hpf. I am also coming in during my February break to complete testing genes in the 48 hpf time point.

Overall I have been doing a lot of personal reflection recently, thinking about the future and past. I have discovered how thankful I am to be given this opportunity to work in a zebrafish lab and conduct independent research–this is something most are not able to do. There is a lot of work ahead, but I am motivated and ready to get it done!

With regards,
Nick Pray’15