Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cynthia Kane's Internship, Summer 2014 - Part 1

Hello everyone! Things here at the University of West Florida have been pretty busy - but super fun as well! About a week after I arrived, I went on a research cruise to collect water and sediment samples for analysis. The trip was very education and also very wavy; it took some time to get used to the swaying of the boat. Here are a few pictures of the cruise (also see Katherine Vaccaro’s first post - she has some really good pictures!)

Left: my wonderful partner, Katherine Vaccaro setting up our lab station before we left  
Right: The cruise was great for collecting water samples - and fish! Here is Dr. Jeffrey holding a wahoo we caught while out at the one of the deeper stations

 Us taking water samples from the SeaBird CTD machine

After the cruise, things started picking up; we began doing lab analysis work, including PCR, gel electrophoresis, DNA purification, and clonal library creation. It took some time to get the hang of all the different tests and tools, but it was also really cool to be able to gain first hand lab experience. I’ve included some photos below, mostly of my PCR work. PCR stands for Polymerase Chain Reaction, and is used to amplify very small amounts of DNA so that it can be analyzed.

Me making the PCR samples. 
The “hood” I’m working in is UV sterilized between each sample to prevent contamination.

Left: The gel visualisation machine (on the left) shines a UV light through the gel, causing the DNA to glow so we can see whether the PCR worked or not. 
Right: A successful PCR! The bright bands indicate that the correct fragment of DNA was amplified.

Posted By:
Cynthia Kane, University of West Florida 

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