Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Another Week Goes By
“Whirr…whirr…whirr” sang the centrifuge, as my precious tube spun around and around the centrifuge, collecting on the bottom so that eventually I could harvest its DNA. Our two experiments today were both focused on gathering and observing DNA, the molecule that governs the way our bodies work and operate.
The first experiment used the DNA of a calf’s thymus and 100% ethanol to make DNA insoluble and thus precipitate out of the solution of the calf thymus and into the ethanol, where we observed the DNA naturally, heat shocked, and treated with DNAse, an enzyme. The second experiment was focused on deriving pure DNA from a sample of E. coli. This involved using six different chemicals to break down the cells, and using the centrifuge to continually condense cellular material at the bottom of the microtubes. In the end, we ended up with pure DNA, which we will use in tomorrow’s experiment.
Today’s quiz was relatively simple. It quizzed us on some of the concepts learned from the labs. The most difficult part of the quiz was naming everyone in class. I’m ashamed to admit that it was easier to discuss proper centrifuge usage and techniques than to match faces with names. After class, I was supposed to meet with two other classmates to go to Waterplace Park to take a picture. Ms. Hall suggested doing this as a way of helping to get to know one another better. One of my classmates left early, so I will be visiting Waterplace Park tomorrow.
A week ago, we left home to find a great adventure awaiting us on the East Coast. This past week has been unbelievably fun, and I'm glad that I have had this opportunity to visit the East Coast and to participate in college campus tours and in the Brown Biotechnology Course. Even though we have only spent three days at Brown University so far, it feels as if it has been far longer. Already I have met so many new people, made a myriad new lifelong friends and connections, and learned more about deoxyribonucleic acid and its special characteristics that give us all life.