Treasures in Benamahoma

When we visited Benamahoma, well first it took us a few hours to learn to pronounce the town’s name. Beh-Na-Ma-OH-Ma. But in all seriousness, it was only meant to be a stop-off point on our way to Grazalema to speak with the mayoress about her town’s history of repression and about the fosa de las mujeres or “mass grave of the women” that was linked to Grazalema. Ana María and her companions had spoken to us about that site a little that Monday and this was Friday and we were supposed to learn more.

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Learning Something Really Exciting (If You Like Science)

This past week, I got to do something really exciting: I learned how to clean EEG data.  Most of you are probably now rereading the first sentence with a lot of supposed sarcasm, but I’m not joking.  I really did think it was exciting.  My project coordinator taught me how to identify bad electrodes, vertical eye movements, and horizontal eye movements in the lines of EEG data.  I already knew what they looked like from the data collection when we show the participants their brain waves, but there was something markedly different about identifying them today in training.  Maybe it’s because cleaning the data gets our lab one step closer to seeing what, exactly, all of the many hours we have all spent recruiting and running participants has led up to.  Or, maybe I just really, really love science, and I think it’s incredible that a program like this exists and that I get to use it.

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Side Post: My experience at the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Meeting in Atlanta

Hello everyone,

From June 23-26, seven research students (including myself) and our lab PI professor Heideman went to the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. Firstly, I would highly recommend anyone thinking of a future in scientific research to attend a conference in their respective fields. Some experiences and realizations are positive and some are negative, but all proved to be crucial in my understanding of what it would mean to live as a scientific researcher.

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Immunocytochemistry (ICC) — Post #3

Immunocytochemistry is the backbone of my research and for the last two weeks I have been learning the procedures and methodology behind this important piece of my work here this summer. One of the possible heritable difference between reproductively responsive and non-responsive mice is the difference in the number and activity of GnRH neurons involved in initial stages of the HPG (Hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal) axis. The way that we see the difference between neurons in the reproductively responsive or non-responsive mice is through immunocytochemistry or ICC. ICC uses engineered antibodies to bind to proteins of interest.

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Week 6 Update

At the end of last week, the Ionlab has temporarily put a pause on further data acquisition for my original extended kinetic method project.  One of the results of working in a lab that relies so heavily on instrumentation is that one instrument, in this case, the triple quad, is used for more than one project.

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