Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lauren Reilly's Internship, Summer 2013 - Part 2

This week we used the mass spectrometer to analyze the cibicidoides (cibs) and find our analytical error. It’s an interesting concept to “randomly pick” which cibs I will use. Bigger cibs lived longer and may have a different chemical composition than smaller cibs. The same goes for the different species of cibs in the sample. So I randomly chose my cibs, prepared them, and ran them on the mass spec!

There was one problem though, I realized that I was supposed to only run a specific species of cibs - wuellerstorfi. After finding this out I had to re-choose more cibs, prepare them, and run a second batch.

At first I was really bummed out that I messed up at the beginning of running my first project, but sometimes science has a way of making the best out of human error.

After looking at the data, the wuellerstorfi species were way off from our analytical error and the mixed batch was perfectly within our set parameter. Next week I will be preparing more samples and running them on the mass spec. I can’t wait until later in the summer when I have ran samples for a few cores and can compare them over time to see the composition of carbon in the cibs.

Description: Cibicidoides wuellerstorfi sensu Jones, R.W. 1994. The Challenger Foraminifera. Image source: Brady, H.B. (1884) Pl. 93. Author: Cedhagen, Tomas. Source: http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=image&pic=35938 (This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License)

Post Author: Lauren "Ren" Reilly, University of South Florida

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