September 5th CauseScience Friday! #science #scienceselfie

crestwind24: This morning I will spend a lot of time at my dissecting microscope (second picture is what I am looking at! with arrows pointing to worms!). I have to sort and pick a bunch of different worm strains (C. elegans) for experiments I will do next week. Maintaining my worm strains can be tedious, but is way easier than taking care of cells, mice, or humans for experiments.



psgurel: On the other hand, I am hanging out with my homie G’s today… G forces that is.  I’m using analytical ultracentrifugation to determine if the proteins I’m working with are forming larger complexes. In lab, Centrifugation is basically a fancy term for spinning things down REALLY fast.  For example, today I’m spinning my proteins at a speed where the centrifugal (or spinning) force on my samples is 50,000x the force of gravity (50,000xg).  In comparison, Astronauts typically experience 3xg during a shuttle launch.  When the centrifugal force is applied to my proteins, they will begin to sediment with heavier/larger complexes  faster, and smaller/lighter complexes sedimenting slower.  By monitoring how they sediment, I can determine what size complexes I have.  On the left, you’ll see the rotor and I’m holding a cell which contains my proteins.  On the right is the ultracentrifuge!



See last week’s CauseScience Friday post here!