Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More Learning of DNA and college

At 9:00 AM my group of wonderful classmates walked through the blazing hot environment to our cool and comfortable Biomedical Building. 

In our lab class yesterday, we isolated DNA from E. coli and put in solution (added what liquid to it to create the solution). Today we took that DNA solution and added it into an Agar plate to observe if the cells would start a colony. There were plates with Amp, Kan, and one that contains both. We needed to spread out the cells thinly and evenly throughout the plate. 

Because of this one procedure, we had to learn a new technique called "Sterile Spreading Technique." This is important because one does not need outside contaminants to ruin the experiment. Once we finished spreading nine plates, we incubated them overnight. Hopefully tomorrow we will see some new colonies that have grown!

In the first lab, we took the plasmids we made in last lab and put them through a gel electrophoresis. The results showed us that every plasmid was a different length due to the digesting them with restriction enzymes. I thought this was very interesting because we all had the same DNA samples; but, we learned that the DNA plasmids can bind wherever they want to.

Later in the day, at 5 PM, I followed the invitation to attend the Partner Scholar Supper. It was a pizza party which provides opportunities to meet more students from partner organizations across the country like ILC and current Brown students. It was very helpful hearing from current Brown students. We had about 5 Brown students who talked about their experiences at Brown and college preparation works. It was nice to meet new friends, but even more pleasant to know that there are more than one hundred of us who are supported mentally and financially by our programs. Again I felt lucky to be one of them out of a thousand students. We shared many similarities: most of us needed financial help because we are coming from different economic backgrounds; many of us are from public schools and are challenged in terms of study conditions; and most importantly, we are all here to pursue our dreams and attain life experiences at such a great place like Brown.

1 comment:

  1. Zijun,

    I'm reading from some of others about this dinner. I like that you all have a chance to get together and compare notes--and enjoy some pizza at the same time.

    Sounds like you're learning some nice lab techniques that you'd never have access to back at De Anza. Like most districts, we're just not set up to be able to offer advanced classes with nice labs like the one you're playing in. All of that costs bunches of bucks and that's something we're in short supply of here.