Saturday, September 19, 2009

Living in the Lab

This weekend marks my second week back in the lab. It hasn't actually been terribly eventful, and sadly, I haven't accomplished much. Yet. That should be remedied shortly.

I'm waiting for a sonicator and looking for a plankton wheel. And maybe some Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA). That last one isn't super necessary though, as long as I get my sonicator.

So what, exactly, will I be doing?
Well, the basic idea of the experiment is to see if larvae are able to eat little tiny spheres of plastic, even if they aren't larvae that are supposed to be able to eat. Different larvae have different ways of developing. Some of them are small, and feed on unicellular algae in the plankton to get bigger before they metamorphose to their juvenile form. Others are bigger, and have enough yolk reserves from mom that they don't feed in the plankton, but they still swim around. Still others have given up that plankton step altogether and finish their development in their capsules -- sometimes even still having the same or similar structures for swimming and feeding in the plankton even though they don't seem to use them. I'll be feeding different types of larvae various sized microspheres, to see if these structures are still functional, even if they aren't being used in the same way.

It's not quite what I want to be doing for my dissertation, but it's an excellent and simple project to get me back into the rhythms of the lab and to play with the animals. That is the goal of my time here for the moment. That, and to figure out exactly what I want to work on. I guess it's as good a place to start as any.

1 comment:

Let me know what you REALLY think...