Biology coursework experimental setups

My advisor and I had been discussing one particularly interesting and novel hypothesis about the proteins involved in the formation of inclusion bodies, and we decided that I should pursue this hypothesis for my project. This was exciting. The project was going to be an adventure. The first step was to produce and purify two key Measles virus proteins. Unfortunately, producing the proteins turned out to be more difficult than I expected, yet this was supposed to be the easiest part. The genetically altered E.

Biology Coursework

I tried warmer temperatures, cooler temperatures, and I even remade fresh growth medium in case the older stuff had gone bad. Finally, I learned there was an easy fix to my problem — just increase the size of the growth flask. Great, I thought, I can finally get on to the interesting part. Now that I had happily growing E. Unfortunately, this failed miserably right off the bat.

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Even under the guidance of another lab that had expertise in protein purification, nothing worked at all. I kept trying, but it was incredibly frustrating. Eventually I started to believe that I had simply no practical skills at the lab bench and my project was going to be a humiliating failure. I remember calling my advisor and explaining to him that nothing was working and no one could figure out why. His response was calm and unphased; he gave me a list of simple steps to take in order to figure out what the problem was. The idea was to take a small sample at each step of the purification process, and then analyze those samples together to see exactly where the protein was going missing.

So I wrote out a plan and a new experimental setup. Now, instead of focusing on the end goal of my project and how far away I was from achieving that, I was forced to focus my thinking on new, smaller questions. This shift in mindset brought me both relief and a new appreciation for the process of troubleshooting. And to my delight, the troubleshooting experiment was a complete success; it took less than a week for me to pinpoint exactly where the protein went missing.

The Debate Over How to Do a Lab Report for Biology

What was more exciting was that I could actually interpret the data and draw conclusions about the protein. Ultimately, we learned that there was nothing I could do within the limits of funding and lab equipment to successfully purify the protein. This may have been disappointing, but the experience of breaking apart my failure into a new, biologically interpretable experiment was priceless. Relish the chance to design a troubleshooting experiment, because what you learn might be just as interesting as what you hoped to learn from your failed experiment.

My problem, I told myself, was passion, though this is perhaps a bit of a misleading statement. As our nomadic band of student researchers meandered up and down the coast of California, sleeping under oaks that had stood tall before the first Europeans set foot on the continent and wading through rivers gasping with fresh spring breath, I found myself completely entranced by an astronomically improbable, impossibly beautiful world.

I quickly developed a reputation as the head-in-the-clouds idealist of the group, and could be found sketching out plans for a treehouse or writing poetry in the field I was supposed to be surveying for canopy cover. I thought I was a lousy scientist because for the first time in my life I felt a spiritual connection to nature and the people I was experiencing it with, and I believed that not only did this connection supersede the cool, calculated work of science, the two views were mutually exclusive.

My experience conducting research last summer changed my view of what science could be, and of what it could mean to somebody. I took a position as a research assistant on a behavioral ecology project out in rural northwest Pennsylvania.

Would these communities feed on different prey, live in a different physical space, and ultimately have a hand in shaping the overall ecosystem? I worried I lacked the mental discipline required to do good science. I quickly realized my environment for the next several months would be completely different from anything I had experienced growing up in California. Linesville, the closest town to our research site, offered little in the way of entertainment, so our small research team quickly grew close as we spent virtually every waking minute together.

About a week into the field season, we started playing a game in the evenings to pass the time where one person would try and draw someone else without looking down at the paper. The results were often as comical as they were disturbing, and we decided to start hanging them up on a wall in our cabin, with the best portraits occupying the upper right corner.

I was surprised by how quickly I came to regard the other research assistants as close friends, although it makes sense given the context. Tell us a little about yourself to get started. Can't find any interesting discussions?

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