Wednesday, August 18, 2010

tiger woods ^ us golf open

all this week and last week i've been doing more trials for the experiment i started two weeks ago... i changed the concentration of ouabain in a few of the experiments as well to see if the effect was any different.. this week i also learned how to hand make glass electrodes.. by using a capillary tube and pulling each side apart over a flame so the ends that were pulled apart would come to a point and then i had to cut and bend the electrode so it was in the proper orientation to make electrical recordings...

this past weekend i went to mykonos.. it was AMAZING.. i love greece.. it's such a fun place to travel to... i had the chance to actually go to the beach and swim in the ocean which i love doing during the summer months...i stayed on the beach all day.. one of the beaches i went to had a bar/restaurant right next to it that started playing loud fun dance music at the night.. everyone started dancing most of the people still in their beach gear...i went into the town.. walked around.. did some shopping, watched the sunset, and ate some delicious greek food :) .. and finally, one of the days my dad and i decided to explore the island more and just drove around got out of our car took pictures and enjoyed the scenery... I am really tired after the trip though.. all my traveling has really worn me out!

i've had some really great experiences and have had a great summer! i'm so glad i've been given this opportunity!

and some pictures for your enjoyment of greece and the us golf open above :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

London pictures :)

Windsor castle and part of incredible doll house
Queen play :)

parliament, notting hill, market, tourist freaking out over a squirell, changing of the guard, really cool cars, London bridge, telephone booth :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The end is near

I've been meaning to post for a long time, and now it's my last week in Germany! I'm excited to start junior year at Emory, but I'll really miss this place and the people here. The past few weeks I've just been spending time exploring in and around Goettingen. Here's a picture of a shooting club parade that lasted the whole day last weekend.We hiked up to the top of the Bismarkturm and you can see all of Goettingen behind us in the picture! This is Courtney, another fellow RISE student who's been doing research at the university physics department.We also went on a crazy adventure to visit all the graves of famous physicists. We saw Planck, Max Born, Max von Laue and the genius mathematician Gauss to name a few. The city cemetery has a corner just for Nobel laureates! Here's Max Planck... and you can't really see it on the picture, but he has the Planck constant inscribed on it at the bottom. I also went to the Goettingen Botonical Gardens, and it's quite nice actually. This is Ada, another intern at the University.
And not to forget, giant water lilies! Well, you can't see the flowers here, but these leaves can hold up to weights of 150 kilos!
So, my time in Germany is nearly up... and I'm going to miss so many things about this place that it's not wise to start listing them. However, I AM EXCITED TO BE BACK AT EMORY AGAIN! :)

p.s. I was at a restaurant on Friday night, and I saw Keanu Reeves! He walked past our table (we were sitting outside) with a flock of photographers clicking away like crazy.

Monday, August 9, 2010

wow how the time has flown!

<-Edinburgh castle


<- hairy cow



more highlands

above are a bunch of pictures of my time in edinburgh with my family last weekend... there are so many more i want to post i had such a good time! i loved seeing my family and i really liked edinburgh! i have more pictures of london from this past weekend i will post later as well!
so in edinburgh my family was there for part of the big arts festival..for the jazz festival... the first day i met my family after work on friday for dinner at this trendy restaurant with great food! after we went to our first gig... and then to another pub after which had music and dancing... the next day we took a 12 hour bus ride to the highlands of scotland and lockness- soo beautiful! it was pretty rainy though but as our tour guide told us it's liquid sunshine! he was the most hysterical tour guide - a true scotsman! he told us some great stories about scottish history! although the group we were with on the bus wasn't too fun..the next day we saw edinburgh castle and the gardens.. both were soo beautiful as well .. and we also went to go see a palace... at night we went to another amazing restaurant and i tried hagas for the first time! although i don't know if it really counts because it was inside this mushrum sauce for steak... and we went to another gig.... the next morning i woke up really early to go back to st.andrews.. on tuesday my family came to st.andrews to visit on the most beautiful day yet! i was soo happy! during my lunch break i showed them around a bit...
last week i was doing experiments on my own because my advisor was at another conference... i was able to set up and make recordings on my own! i now kind of have my own little project testing how ouabain affects skin impulse... i did the same experiment a few times with tadpoles at two different stages in developent... i haven't seen any chance in the length of the skin impulse or the amplitude but i am continuing to do that this week..
in london this past weekend we did lots of things as well! my favorites were parliment.. it was so cool to see how the english government works and it was amazing how beautiful the building was! there was also such a vast difference between how the building was decorated for the two houses, house of commons and the house of lords... i also loved the play we got to see we will rock you which included all of queens music... we had really great seats... and windsor castle... edinburgh and windsor castle are probably my favorites.. i have been to way too many castles at this point haha! i liked winsor alot because it isn't just ruins but is an actual castle that people still live in and is fully decorated... i enjoyed some really nice meals in london as well!
looking forward to going to greece this week! and then going back to atlanta next weekend - so scary! time really has flown by! haven't even begun to think about school!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Housing Woes

When someone says that they “live at their lab,” what does that mean? Generally they are attempting to convey the amount of excessive time they spend surrounded by falcon tubes, pipettes, dangerous chemicals and empty champagne bottles. When I say it, I actually mean it. About three days ago I wheeled my suitcase into lab and was greeted by the questioning looks of my peers. I was homeless…
… But don’t fret, this is a happy story! How did this all come about?
Originally when planning accommodations for the summer, my PI told me that under no circumstances should subject myself to the misery of zone 4 London. (Note: London is broken into different public transportation zones, with each zone radiating from central London (zone 1).) The NIMR happens to be in an affluent suburban-esque area of London called Mill Hill. It would be a fantastic place to settle down with a family etc etc, but for any young person hoping to have some semblance of a life, zone 4 is not the place to be. So, taking my PI’s advice, I found accommodations in a University College of London (UCL) dormitory. The only thing is that in my infinite wisdom, I did not book my entire summer stay there, thinking that after a little while I would be able to find another, cheaper place to move into or I could just extend my stay. At first, that is just what I did – I extended my stay once, but when I tried to do it another time around, I found out, to my horror, that the dorm was fully booked! I had no place to live. For some odd reason this just didn’t bother me all that much; things always have a tendency to fall into place. So, four days before I had to vacate my room, I began to search for accommodations…
The NIMR, besides for being a creepy building used as the exterior of Arkham Asylum, is really a mini-science campus. Beyond the imposing fences and walls, beyond the 24 hour security shack lays a vast property known as the NIMR. I only recently discovered that the incineration bags are incinerated on site on what seems to be a 24 hour incinerator. The billowing smoke always leaves me slightly unnerved, but anyways… In between the incinerator building and the main building, down a hill with big open fields on both sides lays the cottages. I just moved into the Springfield Cottage… Don’t be fooled by the quaint name. It’s a real hole. The house reminded me of a stereotypical off-campus frat house, minus empty alcohol containers everywhere. My room was formerly occupied by a female; I know this not because I met her, but by the layer of hair covering the floor as well as the few belongings she decided to leave and not take back to China with her (I found out her nationality from random newspaper clippings, and old package and other things left lying around). I am so glad I am only here for two weeks… Did I mention the shower doesn’t work? They are supposed to fix it tomorrow… On the upside, my commute to lab has been drastically reduced; it now only takes me 2.5 minutes opposed to 60 minutes… No reading the Metro on the tube anymore…
Did I mention I stayed in a hostel for my first week in lab because the UCL dorm wasn’t open yet? That was also a blast…

Amsterdam... is stuck in my head

Shapiro and I were in the magnificent city of Amsterdam last weekend. The sights, the sounds, the smells! Nothing like it in the world everybody. Of all things, it was the bicycle culture that struck me most. They are more dangerous than cars because they won't stop if you get in their way. They come from nowhere too, I can't tell you how many times Alex saved my life when crossing the street. Though, the fun and practicality has inspired me to buy a used bike or build my own when I get back to Emory. No more parking passes or Cliff shuttles, I'm gonna be free riding.

The oocyctes haven't been any better than before. I'm hoping for a miracle this week because there is absolutely no reason for their lack of RNA expression. In the meantime though I've made agarose-cushioned electrodes. Electrodes are what we stick in to the oocytes to inject current. However, oocytes are relatively large for electrophys experiments, so they need more current injected in a faster period of time. To do this we make the electrode hole bigger, but that results in the liquid leaking from the electrode. The solution is sticking a bit of 1% agarose gel in the tip to block liquid flow, but allow current and ion flow. An ingenious method in one of the oocyte papers that's out there. Below is a visual of the kind of setup I'm using.

Prague this weekend, Atlanta the next. There's this Undergraduate Research Matching Grant program at Emory that my PI just applied to. They pay you dollar for dollar what your lab gives you (if anything), a great deal. I can send you the email I got if you're interested. The deadline for Fall 2010 funding was Aug 1st, but maybe you can see if the deadline was extended and there are still awards for the spring.

Amsterdam - Peter Bjorn & John