Halfway through the semester!

We’ve made it halfway through the semester and fall break is just around the corner.

Campus is beautiful and the trees look like they’re on fire as they drop their leaves! I think one of the best trees on campus is right outside our lab’s windows. And inside our lab, we are all in the middle of our thesis work.

View from our lab

View from our lab

Maddie has shifted her focus to preparing a new strain of fish in the colony for breeding! These fish are a cross of our Nfe2 knockouts and Brn3C fish. Their neuromast cells will glow for imaging with the Confocal microscope and she will be able to visualize the effects of a loss of Nfe2. To prep them, she has begun genotyping the fish to ensure they are all the correct crosses. We are all excited to see what kind of results she can get using these new fish!

Quang is finishing up his bioinformatics and has been spending more time getting accustomed with the lab. Hopefully, when we return from fall break, he will be at the bench full-time!
Jacob has been working on scoring fish which were exposed to toxicants during development for abnormalities. He is already becoming a master of Nancy’s scoring scheme which rates the severity of various developmental abnormalities.

This week, I have gone back to the literature to try and solve the problems we are having with our Chromatin Immunoprecipitation procedure. While we have made many successful changes, we still are not getting the Ct values from qPCR for our positive and negative controls to confirm the procedure. I will be in lab over break trying some new techniques to try and finally iron out the procedure!

We also have Dr. Joshua Gray from United States Coast Guard Academy visiting us to share his work Mechanisms of Toxicity in Pancreatic Beta Cells: Upsetting the Redox Balance. He will be giving a lecture to the department and also visiting with each of us to hear about our work in toxicology. We are very lucky to have him here!