We had an awesome time for the 4th of July up in the Finger Lakes with friends and family! Including a heated discussion about Tim Hunt (image below, hahaha). Hopefully following this vacation we will both be posting more!! Look for some fun summer science blog entries!!
CauseScience hopes everyone in the Northern Hemisphere is enjoying the summer!!
crestwind24- I am spending part of my day processing images (micrographs) that I took earlier on our labs confocal microscope. As I mentioned in a previous CauseScience Friday, the confocal allows me to take amazing pictures of neurons and their axons and dendrites. Today I am taking many images taken through the depth of a worm and making 3D animations. This allows you to see the morphology of the axons – or where they are in space. Below is a partial low-res GIF I made of one of my animations – it shows two neurons and their axons in C. elegans!!
psgurel- Part of joining a new lab involves developing a new project. Today, I’m doing some test runs as an initial step in developing a method for imaging different conformations of actin filaments for cryo Eelectron Microscopy. First, I have to coat EM grids in a mechanism that will allow the actin to bind properly, so I’m surveying different ways of coating EM grids. Wish me luck!
If you aren’t following CauseScience writer @pinar_gurel on twitter, you definitely should be!! psgurel is currently at the ACSB conference in Philadelphia and is live tweeting a lot of cool and informative stuff from the conference!! Including a call for students and trainees to become active advocates for science!!
From the looks of it, the ACSB conference has lots of innovative presentations and symposia that are the future of scientific conferences!! Future of Research, ePosters, lighting talks, selfies, to name a few!!
crestwind24- This morning I am working on my lab’s new confocal microscope (middle). Using this fluorescence microscope, I can take high resolution images of neurons in C. elegans, including their amazing axons and dendrites!! To do this, I use worms that express fluorescent markers in distinct neurons. The fluorescent proteins then fill the neuron cell bodies, and can be excited with lasers to emit light!! I then use the confocals photo multiplier tubes to detect the light and create an image! The image on the right shows 2 neurons and their processes (one red and one green)!
psgurel– I have been spending this morning packing and getting ready for the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) Annual Meeting in Philadelphia! This is a 5 day long international conference where thousands of scientists, exhibitors, and students gather to discuss science, network, learn about career opportunities, and more. I’m pretty excited because this year I will be giving a small talk on my research, and I will be participating in a panel on science advocacy. It’s my 5th time attending this Annual Meeting, and I’ll be posting and tweeting throughout the conference.
psgurel – I’ve spent most of this week turning in my thesis and preparing for my defense next week. But today, I’m taking a break from all of that and repeating an experiment! Oftentimes, we must repeat experiments to prove that we are confident in our results. While it may not be thrilling to do the same experiment again, it is awesome when a result is reproducible! Today, I’m doing a similar kinetic experiment as I did on Sept 19th. Woohoo!
crestwind24 – Today one of the graduate students in my lab is defending her PhD. I love going to PhD talks, it is always fun and interesting to see the story that has developed with the training of a new scientist!! Last night and this morning I spent a bunch of time baking a cake for her in the form of a C. elegans. It is a chocolate cake with cream cheese pudding frosting! The green dots and lines represent the two neurons that she has studied in her thesis! Good Luck and Congrats to Dr. Pat!!
For Halloween weekend, CauseScience was in Washington DC. This included a fun visit to the NIH (shoutout to all my brother’s lab mates). While in the DC metro, I also came upon an ad for the Life Technologies Beautiful Life Images Contest. Although images had to be submitted by last Friday, keep your eyes out for the winning science images in ad panels around the DC metro. Super cool ads that feature science!!!
As promised on Friday, here are some pictures of our Halloween celebration in Washington! As a group, we were ‘NASCAR,’ including drivers, pitcrew, and fans! The night included a photoshoot, a limo ride, and a stop at the Lincoln Memorial!
Happy Halloween!!!! Here at CauseScience we take Halloween very seriously. In fact, we are both traveling to Washington DC today for our annual Halloween get together with friends. Every year for awhile now we have picked a group costume… and rocked it! Although it is not really science-y at all, here are a few pictures of us from the last 3 years (#selfie… sort of).
Last year we did Peter Pan – CauseScience as Tiger Lily and Michael Darling!
Sesame Street… and apparently dancing Gangnam Style… CauseScience as Ernie and the Count!
psgurel – Rome wasn’t built in a day… and neither was this thesis. I’m still tackling this behemoth, and have one week left until the thesis is officially due. Additionally, I’m assembling a manuscript to be submitted next week for peer review in a scientific journal (it will also be a chapter in my thesis, woo!) I apologize in advance for being off the grid for the next week!
crestwind24 – This morning I am working on my computer putting together a new ‘cartoon model’ of neuronal connections for my next lab meeting presentation. One of the huge perks of working on C. elegans is that there is a neuronal connectome, which means we know where all of the neurons are, where the neurons connect to each other, and how strong these connections are. Using the WormWiring.org database, I am compiling the connections between a number of neurons I am studying. Pretty Cool!