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Week 1

Posted by on Friday, June 15, 2012 in General Information, Summer, Undergraduate Research, Vanderbilt Internships, Work Study.

The end of my first week at the lab and a short re-cap of what happened.Today marked the end of my first week in Dr. Kearney’s lab and I must say, today everything started to make much more sense. It could be that we had a meeting today and Ben, a graduate student, explained a lot of the background information related to the lab and what we are doing. In short, the aim of the lab is something on the lines of studying epilepsy and studying genes in mice with epilepsy. Also in there is something about mutations in these genes somewhere. As you can see… a lot of it is still pretty cloudy at the moment. However, I will try to make sense of what is going on as much as I can.

Anyways, today some things clicked in my head. One was that from observing everything that goes on in the lab, I felt like I was in one of those movies where the scientists are trying to find a cure for some vaccine especially with all the special pipette devices and the many many centrifuge tubes lined up in the tube racks.

Once I start working, I’m going to feel like Will Smith in “I Am Legend.” I’m not exactly sure when I will find out what I’m actually going to be doing over the next 2 months but hopefully it’ll be all cleared up soon enough.

Ok, so I had quite an interesting day on Thursday. Apart from the ice cream social where I got to eat free ice-cream, I got to observe something very… interesting. Remember how I said I read about the proper mice care and euthanizing and then I said how I read about some kind of mice decapitation device? Yeah, well I found out today that our lab doesn’t have that kind of device so they just use scissors. I mean it’s completely legal and is the most common method but I didn’t really expect to see mouse decapitation so early into my summer research. But, none the less, the hypothalamus had to be retrieved from the mice and so the mice would be euthanized with some kind of sedative, decapitated, the brain would be removed and then the hypothalamus would be retrieved from within the brain. Needless to say, all of it was quite morbid stuff. Oh well, its all for science I guess.

Overall, that’s all the interesting stuff that happened for me this week. I’ll be sure to update more when I next go to the lab.

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