…by Phoebe / from the United Kingdom / PhD Tissue Repair 2013-2017
I want to start this blog post with the exciting news that on the 9th of November 2016 my first scientific manuscript was PUBLISHED. The paper is based on investing the role of immune cells, namely macrophages, in scarless endometrial repair and the work was done by myself following on from work started by Dr Fiona Cousins who mentored me for the first 6 months of my PhD project. It was an exciting moment when we found out and a great achievement all round. If you are interested in reading it the link follows: http://www.nature.com/articles/srep36748
So this took November off to a great start, my enthusiasm was bubbling and so many people were congratulating me… it feels good to be part of a building where everyone is so supportive and encouraging!
In other lab news I have been struggling with the daunting task of extracting good quality RNA from a small number of isolated cells (1-2000 which isn’t very much in science!). I have used the Qiagen RNAeasy mini kit, the Invitrogen PureLink RNA micro kit and experimented with variations on the lysis step. However after checking the quality of my extracted samples on the new LabChip GX system in the QMRI this was quite poor so I was back to the drawing board.
Luckily for me everyone has connections and experience so I was put in touch with a scientist over at the Institute for Genetics and molecular Medicine (IGMM) who has a Maxwell extractor, an automated machine for extracting RNA. After running a couple of trials on the Maxwell it has become clear that this is the way to go if I want RNA of sufficient quantity and quality!
It has taken a while but I now know the best way to proceed so for those of you also struggling with something PERSEVERE… you will get there in the end!
This month I also had my role of ‘Demonstrator’ back so I was helping out during the practical sessions of the Biomedical Sciences 2 course looking at the anatomy of the female reproductive tract. This is a really fun practical as the students are given the tracts of three species of animals and after making measurements and observations and comparing the specimens, they are to make an informed guess about which species of animal the tract has come from. The species they have are sheep, pig and cow but we get guesses along the lines of kangaroo, squirrel and elephant which definitely keeps it entertaining 😀
And on the more academic side I attended a course titled ‘Finding Academic Literature’ so I could get my brain into gear for literature research and writing for my second year report (due in February eek). This report is an update on the work I have done since first year and will be followed by a thesis committee meeting, something I am not looking forward to! Finally, I have started the design of my poster for the Fertility 2017 conference being held in Edinburgh on the 5th of January which is titled: Characterisation of endometrial progenitor cells during post menstrual repair. So far it is a little cluttered so will definitely need a hand shuffling things around and cutting content but I should be able to post a pic of it in my January blog post 😀
Outside of the lab I have had a busy time as ever. I went with my friends through to Glasgow to see Bastille in concert in the impressive Hydro stadium- an indie band who are actually better live than in recordings 😀 and who I have now seen live about 5 times (ps- I LOVE lead singer DAN!)!
My mum gifted my sisters and I to a delicious meal out followed by tickets to the ‘Keep Dancing’ show starring some of the professional dancers from Strictly Come Dancing and the winner of 2015 Jay McGinnes with his partner Aliona, which was absolutely beautiful and made me want to quit science to be a dancer heehee!
The Tissue Repair students gathered together (all 16 of us) to celebrate myself and Isaac getting published and Ana and Jill getting one year older. We went out to the Electric Circus for some Karaoke which was a lot of fun and was only £2 for two hours each! They have several themed karaoke rooms so I think this may become something that we do more often and you should definitely try too! And in more boring news I got my hair cut!!!!!
SO in my next blog I will be stressed as it is the lead up to the Christmas break, notorious for stressing about getting everything finished up in time for chrsitmas!
Thanks for reading.