Single Molecule Blinking Traces

At the end of my last post, I mentioned that I had taken a break from trying to measure the fluorescence lifetime of individual molecules of the organic dye Rhodamine 560, since I was unable to get a lifetime curve with a high enough signal to noise ratio at single molecule concentrations. Instead, I returned to a technique called single molecule blinking, which allows us to observe changes in emission intensity while an individual molecule is under continuous excitation.

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Conducting Interviews

Conducting the interviews went for the most part, as planned. I gathered the sample necessary, 27 interviews from women of varying ages across the five focus groups of the community. One thing that could have been a barrier was the difference in language and colloquialism. I speak Mexican Spanish, which at the core is very similar to the rural Nicaraguan Spanish, however, there are words and pronunciation that are different. It was difficult at times for me to understand fully what the women were saying and vice versa. Conducting this research and speaking to these women has been one of the most humbling and rewarding experiences. I have learned so much about how the community is organized and how the women take care of their families and live in this part of Nicaragua. I am hoping that the data that I have collected and the conclusions that I draw can further help the community and enrich the partnership that I have started to develop with the women of the community. The next step in my research is the analyze the responses to the questions and compare them to the responses of other questions. In the next two weeks I will be working closely with Professor Aday who will assist me in analyzing the data. I am excited to see what I can learn from the interview responses!