Monday, March 30, 2009

Rotation #3 Diary: Week 2

The second week of my rotation was much like the first -- I genotyped, I watched behavioral testing paradigms, I failed to gather helpful data. (Sigh.) Sequencing reports indicate that the two litters of mice I've genotyped are all wild-type, which makes it seem unlikely that this chimera will produce mutant pups. I'll be sequencing some more DNA from a different litter (born to a different chimera) this week, but we're not expecting much from them, either. More chimeras are in the works, so at this point it would almost be a disappointment to find a germ-line mutation in the ones we have (the money has already been spent on making a new batch!). The lack of mutants thus far delays our ability to study the in vivo effects of this mutation, though, which is really what it's all about. So, cross your fingers for my little mice.

During some of my down time this week (while waiting for PCRs to run or enzymes to digest) I went to different talks around campus. I already blogged about the Work/Life Balance Panel. I also went to a presentation in the Environmental Studies department about Gender and the Environment. I know that sounds weird, but the talks, given by Emory undergraduates in the department, were really cool. One was about Sarah Palin and how she fits into the trope of American masculinity embodied by the frontier spirit; another was about the dearth of female leadership in environmentalist organizations. The third talk was supposed to cover intersexuals (whose gender has literally been shaped by the environment, or toxins therein), but the pre-med student who was supposed to deliver it had some lab duties to attend to and couldn't come. I thought this was amusing, since I had left my lab to come listen to her talk. I only left because I didn't have any experiments running at the moment, though. I understand how experiments come to rule your life, but it's a shame that we all missed out on her presentation.

This week I have more genotyping to do, and instead of going to talks during my downtime I'll be studying for Wednesday's Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience exam. I'll be back to blogging after that.

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