So we’re coming towards finishing the second week of my laboratory work, 2 more weeks to go (i think)
I feel like we havent actually got much stuff done, and im worried about getting results i’ll need for my project work, as I mentioned in a previous post,  the lab is supposed to involve making some synthetic genes to put into plants and then seeing what happens, but with only 2 weeks left im not entirely sure we’ll be able to do that – how long does it take to make a gene? and then how long will it take the plant to grow? (surely >2 weeks total)

^ Picture of my workarea in the glasshouse, where I had to pull the flowers off of these plants, the flowers as you can see if you click to open fullsize – are the little white/yellow bits on the ends of the stems. I had to fill 20 1.5ml eppendorf tubes with the flowers, with each tube holding maybe 100? (so around 2000 probably)
I Did this over 2 days, about 10 hours work ~.~

(The pictures in the glasshouses are weird and look like someone taking a picture of a SDTV because of the special lighting they use in there for the plants)

^ The next job involved  taking sliques from the flowers (essentially a small tube of seeds), pulling the petals off and then slicing both ends of the tube with a razor blade, these things are on the scale of…. maybe if you imagine about 33% of a grain of rice? (really tiny)

Then there was the flower grinding using liquid nitrogen…

and then finally…

^ The microscopy room, where various microscopes are rigged up to computers (that one on the left has a 30″ monitor). They are used for various things, for example putting fluorescent markers into cells or just phenotypic analysis [in english: put radioactive stuff into cells, microscope can see the radiation and shows it as fluorescent green, alternatively they can be used for looking at shape/structure of stuff]I was tasked here for a few hours to photograph some seeds for analysis of size, the seeds of course were seriously tiny, smaller than table salt, hence the need for the microscopes. I also had to make sure the seeds weren’t touching by using a needle and – using the monitor/microscope for guidance, separating out the microscopic seeds

update:1 – Liquid nitrogen video up
update:2 – greenhouse vlog up

By the way, what do people think of video blog style stuff? Im not saying its something I would do on a regular basis, but as you can see – my phone can output some pretty decent quality video…