Reflections

I’m writing this blog post as I sit in lab during my last hour incubation period of my last CAT ELISA on the second to last day of the summer research term. This summer has been a roller coaster ride. I’ve experienced incredible highs thinking that an experiment would finally work with one small tweak to the procedure and dramatic lows upon spending nine hours on a small sample size and a tiny plate only to find that the ELISA was unsuccessful. At the very least, research this summer has allowed me to become quite familiar with the CAT ELISA procedure and I think all of the small errors and kinks, from inverting trypsin tubes when seeding plates to partially incubating plates at room temperature with lysis buffer to improve protein yields, have been worked out. If I continue CAT ELISAs in the Fall, I don’t think I’ll have to spend a lot of time trying to fix procedural problems. I consider working through the procedural problems alone to be a success regardless of how much, if any, data is collected from a modified procedure; however, it would be really nice to actually collect some data from a proper experiment at the end of this research term. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough time to note whether or not results from these ELISAs form a trend so hopefully a pattern will start to emerge in the Fall after more modified CAT ELISAs. On the upside, besides carrying a specialized knowledge of how to perform CAT ELISAs away from this term, I’ll be able to apply more universal techniques I’ve learned this summer to future lab work. I feel more confident in my flask-splitting and plate-seeding technique and also more comfortable with transfections. Now onto another success-defying CAT, the MCATs…

Comments

  1. Wow, Mary, it seems like you have had a productive summer (although I never saw you wandering the halls down here on the second floor!). After reading your posts, I am still a little confused of what CAT ELISAs are, but I am glad that you finally managed to figure it all out! It is amazing how much time can be spent just figuring out procedures and kinks, it seems that is all I ever do myself. But I am sure you will find it advantageous to have a new technique down. I am curious to find out if there are any trends in the data. I guess most trends aren’t that obvious!
    But now that summer research is done, I wish you the absolute best on your MCATs! You will knock it out of the park! 🙂