Saturday, July 18, 2015

Science in Paradise

I can't believe it's almost over! I have learned so much in lab. This last week I spent many hours in my lab trying to acquire my final results, but failed each time. 

I have been working with shrimp DNA samples because we are trying to see if varying plant extracts  will have a protective affect on the shrimps' immune system from a virus known as the White Spot Syndrome Virus, which is wiping out entire shrimp populations. My hopes while being here were to Save The Shrimp :D! I have come up against a few road blocks though, and this is common in science. There is definitely beauty in not getting things right away. My gels haven't shown the band sizes I am looking for and I need to find out if this is because of contamination that took place during  PCRs or if the DNA samples simply aren't useful etc. All in all, work in lab has taught me patience and perseverance. I am working with Barbara, a Master's student. She has been so patient with me, and has taken me in as her own. I look forward to working with her in lab because she constantly reminds me that it is okay to not get things right away. 

There are a mixture of feelings and thoughts I have at the moment. I can't stop thinking of how lucky I am to be able to have met my roommates and lab-mates and live in this paradise. I love my lab and the people I get to eat lunch with and exchange stories with while I'm there. I'm constantly impressed by so many people in my lab and how collaborative they are. I am not sure how my results will turn out, but this whole process of understanding what each technique I have done means and what I am working towards to improve shrimp populations has been rewarding. 

This is just one aspect of my time in Floripa, but there is so much more I can't wait to share about my perspective and how wonderful every bit of this opportunity has been! 

One of my many gels
pretty little dots (TBE and gel red) for my DNA samples :)

On the Rocks of Praia Mole!

Loving Barbara and friends after long day at lab!

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