Wednesday, June 30, 2010

First Presentation!

Today, Tristan, Sydney, & I presented at the group meeting. I'd say we all did pretty good, considering we haven't touched this stuff in a year. (Maybe we should have...) I hope the new kids got a good idea of what to do when they present. Everyone is going to ask questions, it's just a matter of knowing your stuff. :) I suppose us SEED II kids should get used to presenting, because we're going to be doing it in Boston in 2 months! I can't wait!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Meeting Time!

Tomorrow is our first Project Seed meeting and the veterans are presenting first. Me, Amanda and Sydney will be showing the others what to expect in our meetings. Last year, I was pretty nervous about presenting in front of everyone but this year I don't have the same nerves. That being said, I still prefer watching instead of presenting. That's why I plan on going first.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

First Week...

So, at first for awhile I was pretty nervous and I thought I would be left to figure a lot out on my own, but my grad student was really nice and on the second day I met another girl who was going to be working on the same lab as me. So it's nice to know I can sort of work together with someone else and some of the lab work we do works out nicely when done together. Most of the other kids here I met are a lot nicer than I expected and they're all pretty cool. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the summer.
The big machine on the left is the GC and the smaller on the right is the plotter. Basically we put in 0.2 microliters of our solution into the machine and set the parameters accordingly(most of it is just guesswork) and wait for the plotter to print out scans of what was in the solution. For the last two days we've been looking for the peak of octene-1 and couldn't figure out why it wasn't showing up and assumed we just weren't zoomed in close enough to see it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Learning the Ropes

Today, I started to learn how to use Assisted Model Building with Energy Refinement, or AMBER for short. It's the program I will use to build my salt box for my project. It's amazing how you can do research like this entirely on the computer. I'm all set up now on Visual Molecular Dynamics. This program was once like reading a foreign language but is now second nature to me. Most of all, I can't wait to see what is for lunch today (:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Hi, This is my first post so bare with me. Today I got to learn many new things. I learned where to eat, how to use this blogger site, and I got to start my project after yesterday's safety training. I got to meet many new people... mainly becuase I didn't know any of them. I like all of them and can't wait to learn more about them as the summer continues. So far I have worked in the lab for only a few hours but I already really enjoy it. Ben(the student that I am working with) is really nice and definitely knows what he is doing (which is more than I can say about me so far). Hopefully I can learn a lot more about my project as we get further into the summer.
-Ian Carroll

Beginning Project Seed

During the first week of Project Seed I was both excited and nervous. I was excited because I was going to be doing something that interests me. Another reason I was excited is because I would be meeting new people and doing things that are new to me, but that is also why I was nervous. After, meeting everyone and starting my lab the nervousness is gone, and I'm just happy to be here:)

Amazing Technology

This would be my computer- the iMac. It's a lot different than a PC, and i'm still learning the ropes on how to use it. This is my one and only piece of equipment for this summer. The capabilities of this computer are endless. It's amazing all the research one can do with the programs. There are several unique programs this computer is capable of running. The one I am learning to use right now is called Visual Molecular Dynamics, or VMD for short. With this program, you can upload proteins from the online protein database, and see what they look like in 3D. You are also able to physically see the difference between two proteins, something that is very important for my project. The graduate students are using this program to find the area between the spaces in the protein. As of right now, I am still running through the training for this program. I still have many similar programs like it to learn, like the Nanoscale Molecular Dynamics, and Assisted Model Building with Energy Refinement. It has been such a learning experience so far with all of these programs. It is amazing to see the technology out there.This is a picture of a molecule I was using to get to know the program. It is known as Bovine. I still have yet to get a scale of the amino acid I will be using for my project, K2SO4 and NA2SO4. That is something I will attempt this afternoon.

Blog Challenge #1

In an effort to make the blog more robust and well, fancy, occasionally I'll post blog challenges. The winner of these challenges are of course rewarded with swag.

Challenge #1
Post a picture and explaination of a laboratory technique or piece of equipment that they will be using this year.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Back in the Lab!! =)

It's so nice to be back in the lab for the summer! To be honest, I really missed it. I'm so glad to have been given this opportunity for a second time. It was great to see Tristan again and I got to meet some new people. Mary and Ian are pretty cool =). I can't wait to see what this year has in store for all of us. I know that we"re all going to have alot of fun. I hope Mary and Ian enjoy this as much as I did last year. It's an experience that won't be forgotten.

First Day! (:

Today's first day was very exciting. I met tons of new people and learned how to use a MAC computer....or at least attempted to do so. Now, all I have to do is read up and learn more about the characteristics my specific amino acid. I'm so grateful for this experience, and I can't wait to see what this summer has in store (:

Back to Work

Well, it's back to the lab again for SEED II students. Back to the old 8 to 5 routine. Last year was a great experience and I'm looking forward to another great year at Duquesne. It's nice to recognize the old faces, and welcome the new ones as well. I should be starting my research soon, and there's lots more to be done with my professor. Today we are going to safety training, and after that I'll probably start refreshing my memory with my group. It's going to be a good year. The ACS meeting in Boston is what I think I'm looking forward to the most. Us SEED II students are going to have a blast with Mr. Lucas. Can't wait to see what kind of blog challenges we'll have this year!

-Amanda Anderson

A New Beginning

I can't believe that this summer has finally arrived! It's great to see Mr. Lucas, Amanda and Sydney again as well as Dr. Johnson and my lab group. I met the four new ones and they seem pretty cool so far. I'm excited to be working on a new project and hope that these eight weeks will be an even better experience than last year.