Just Keep Swimming…

…by Katherine / from Canada / PhD Biomedical Sciences 2015-2018

I cannot believe that February is almost over! That will mean that I am half-way through my PhD! That is quite a scary concept, and one that my brain refuses to come to terms with at the minute…

Lab work

Things have finally picked up this month. I have finished all my cloning- all the sequencing came back okay. I have been transfecting my super tricky toxic construct -the cells haven’t died on me. I have been imaging my cells -more than half the data is usable (ie responding cells, no drifting and no human error). I am not used to everything working, so I am behind on my data analysis! All in all things are looking up. I have to take advantage of this momentum and try to do get everything done- okay perhaps not everything, but at least check a few things off of my never-ending to-do list.


I think I am, dare I say, finished with one part of one of my project. I am saying this in a whisper so that the lab fairy doesn’t come and ruin things for me. All of the analysis is completed and the graphs are made, though I still haven’t decided on my final colour scheme. I have even spent the last few days reading up on my protein of interest to try and fit my results into the story. I currently have so many tabs open on Google Chrome, I am amazed that my computer hasn’t crashed yet! I guess that this means that I am in the pre-pre-pre-stages of writing up. My inner-self is holding her hands up to block her ears and singing loudly in denial.


Speaking of data analysis, in some cases it can be mindless work such as counting cells or analysing immunohistochemistry staining. I’m lucky that my analysis, although very time-consuming , is not too labour-intensive. That means that I can do other things while I click. I am pretty obsessed with listening to podcasts, from true crime, to marketing to law and storytelling podcasts and everything in between. I listen to everything and pretty much anything. I was even listening to a podcast on how to make a podcast! It gives me the chance to learn new things in a pressure-free state of mind and it keeps me alert during my lengthy analysis. I also have time to listen to podcasts while on the microscope because we have set up automation on my beautiful new microscope (well not so new anymore). That means that it stimulates the cells and changes the perfusion automatically on the frame number we enter into the computer! I love technology!

Now I am off to start my day and keep busy so that the inner me doesn’t have time to think about my impending (not that impending) thesis submission.

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