Day 2 of 100: Improvement is a Wonderful Thing

Today’s experiment: the same thing as yesterday.

Result:

Day2

Summary: Better ๐Ÿ™‚

I am very grateful for my senior grad student, who once again sat with me this afternoon to coach me through dissections, telling me when I found the tooth and when I punched right through it, and I can now recognize what their teeth look like. This time I pulled the teeth of 6 mice and probably only lost 2 molars total.

Pulling teeth… pretty sure there’s an idiom about that.

So I used the molars from 4 of the mice to do the same RNA extraction experiment, and used the other 2 to extract their protein instead.

I’ll measure the protein some other day, but for now, here’s my proof of improvement in graph form ๐Ÿ˜€

Conclusion for day 2: Having someone who can really coach you and be patient with you in your workplace is a huge blessing. If my senpai grad student hadn’t been there, I would have likely wrecked most of the teeth of these mice, too. Do/did you have someone like that in your job? If not, you should find one. They’re great and they make you feel very much so not alone. Which is a great feeling. So thank you, senpai.

In other news, this comic from the wonderful people at PhD Comics really resonates with me…

Side note: If you need brushing up on your molecular biology, here’s a refresher. Our genome is composed of some unknown but very large number of genes in the form of DNA that code for a specific protein product and spaces between those genes that have a variety of purposes. Some special proteins floatin’ around in the cell nucleus copy the DNA into messenger RNA (mRNA) form, which gets exported out of the nucleus into the cellular space, and another cellular unit called a ribosome reads the mRNA and makes some protein from that message. The protein is what actually does stuff in the cell, while DNA and RNA tell the protein what to do. It’s a beautiful system that means the cell doesn’t have to make brand-new DNA every time it needs more proteins to get stuff done, thereby preventing potentially fatal errors in DNA and protecting the information in our genome, and mRNA is a temporary message that degrades quickly so the cell doesn’t overproduce the protein product.

My experiment involves taking out all the RNA in the cell (which is mostly in the form of mRNA, but other forms are possible) and measuring how much of a certain gene is being made (“transcribed“) into mRNA. The second experiment I did today, one I will no doubt get to later in this project, involves taking out the protein to measure how much of the mRNA is actually getting made (“translated“) into protein.

Yay, science ๐Ÿ˜€

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