Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lab Productivity

This week one of the grad students and postdocs who works in my lab is going histology crazy trying to get her stuff finished, and one of the undergrads who works with me is helping them out, so it's been a busy time in the lab this week, and next week. But I love it, it's great to see some lab productivity happening! I'd like to point out my fancy microtome by the way (the machine they're working on), sweated blood for that one....

The meaning of life....well, the meaning of my lab anyway.....coral gonads! Basically in my lab we look at how animals reproduce, these are shallow water corals, but primarily we work with deep sea animals. We take pieces of reproductive tissue, mount them in wax blocks then slice them really thinly (5 microns!) and mount them up on slides. We can then use lots of fancy stains to bring out different types of tissues - we use purple (of course), red and green to bring out the reproductive tissues. Through this we can see when, how and how much they are reproducing. And as reproduction is a good sign on a healthy population, we can use that to see how corals under stress are doing. So the above is just a small subset of the thousands of slides my lab produces every month.

The team, covered in wax and a little delirious I think.....

I'm going to miss my labbies when I leave, Jackie (right) has been there since the beginning and will graduate with her PhD in the spring, so I have to come back to Hawaii to do her exam, good excuse to come back to the sunshine. Laeticia is a postdoc who has been doing some histology here and there, she just landed a fabulous job in France, well done Laeticia! 

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