Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Found the Time to Post

Last night I finished the semester around 10:00pm, having just turned in my Biochemistry final to the professor. Both of them down in the same day, at the very start of finals week. Now the baby can come without me worrying about making up exams and studying for them with a crying infant. That will be for next semester.

I keep grinding away on my project at work, but have been somewhat discouraged today. I've been using a technique we call Western Blotting (the name of the assay is a bit of a science joke, a story perhaps for another post) to check protein expression levels of a specfic protein. In a Western Blot one sticks proteins to a membrane and can then detect the protein of interest by using an antibody to identify it. If things are done correctly it is possible to probe with an antibody, strip off the antibody, probe with a different one, strip, probe again... you get the idea. The problem is the stripping agent can also remove the proteins from the membrane, so if done repeatedly the signal from the proteins is diminished.

I got a protocol to strip the Western Blot I had and I actually used more mild conditions than were recommended in the instructions, but all the proteins were stripped off in the process. Ugh. Frustrating, because it takes about 3 days to run a Western Blot. I started it over today.

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