Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day produces more than babies

These are some of the pictures I drew when I was in Gambia in 2007 with the intention of coloring at some point. Now I've finally gotten around to it. Valentines with no valentine seemed like the perfect time.

I like this one,

And I discovered that in order to take a good picture I should hold it up in front of my lamp. The color from the markers soaking through the paper makes the picture look electric, but then my camera's flash balanced it and the colors came out pretty true. But the lamp trick gave me an idea to build a picture frame with a lit-back housing. These prismacolor markers look crazy when illuminated from behind.

Friday, February 6, 2009


One of the positives about working in this lab is that I have flies in my coffee. No one here knows why they love coffee, but from what I observe, they do. I enjoy speaking French to one of two Venezuelans in our lab, who responds in Spanish that I kind of remember. I would like to practice Spanish but she laughs critically at my accent and not hers. Between tearing out ovaries and extracting DNA we have fun. It's a small lab in the middle of publishing a paper I had nothing to do with, but concerning projects I will be continuing to unfold in the next few years.

One of the projects is wound healing mechanisms in fruit fly babies. We basically burn a hole in an early or late stage embryo with a laser, and watch as it fluorescently heals itself, or not, depending on a number of factors. Mounting the embryos on a slide is a fairly delicate process. And a separate DNA identification experiment hasn't been going well lately. The DNA wouldn't go back into solution, it just sat like a fat white plug in 300ul 10mM Tris/10mM EDTA + 20ul RNase (Roche 10mg/ml stock). Just to get to that point, which is still at the beginning of this whole test, took a bit of work. Now we start over and hope it goes well this time. The problem could have been any number of factors. The best bet is that I've never really worked in a research lab before now.

You all should check this out. Look through his archives on the right hand column and listen to anything that has "mp3" after it.