Some Good News!

July 26th

It turns out that my partner and I haven’t been as unsuccessful at finding single molecules as we thought. When we presented our data at group meeting earlier this week, we showed our single molecule dye scans from the previous week like usual. Some of our scans had a few bright distinctive molecules with high counts from our detector, while other scans only had dimmer molecules. My partner semi-joking called this “reproducible inconsistency” in our data, and we shrugged off what we thought was another week of inconclusive data.

Out advisor, however, saw something different. She noticed that the scans with very bright distinctive molecules also had some dimmer molecules whose counts were around the same as the highest in the dimmer scans. What this means is that our data actually was not inconsistent and those fluctuations in fluorescence intensities between scans were normal.

This was some of the best news we had gotten all summer. Until now, we really had no idea how to explain our results, and honestly we were getting very discouraged. But with this new revelation, essentially, our weeks of control experiments were over. We actually are able to reproduce single molecule scans of our dye molecule.

Now, we can get back on the scope and start taking scans for the purpose of collecting data and running our computational analysis. This process involves taking large scans that reveal many single molecules and focusing our laser over each individual dye molecule to measure the fluorescence over time. We can then measure the fluctuations of intensity of the fluorescence with our “change point detection” method. On to the next stage of our project!