Monthly Archives: August 2012

One experiment a week…

At the moment, I seem to be averaging one full experiment a week. The sort of thing you set up the night before, spend ALL the next day working on it, and head home an hour late with a file full of results.

Naturally, as a fresh-in-the-door first year PhD student, surrounded by people much further on in their research, this doesn’t appear like a lot to me. Some of my colleagues think this is a grand amount of work, others seem to imply I should be doing more. My supervisors seem to be thrilled with progress to date (I really do mean thrilled, whether I’m doing well or they’re not used to feedback, I haven’t quite figured out).

While the experiment only takes a day to carryout, planning the work and then figuring out the collected data takes a whole chunk of time too (about a day or so of analysis including writing the mini-report). The supporters of my one experiment a week method applaud my planning, and how I control for as many factors as is reasonable.

A large part of why I spend so much time planning my experiments, is that physically preparing the work can be very tiring. A poorly designed experiment, doesn’t just waste my time and reagents, but adds to how much tiredness I have to deal with in the long run. This is clearly not cool.

At this rate I should have about 150 experiments complete by the time I come to write up in three years time. Presumably all these won’t go into the final thesis, but none of them should be work that had to be repeated for being ill-thought out…

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Gilson Pipetman M : Review

Apologies on the long overdue review, but I’ve been a bit distracted with science and life over the last few weeks.

I was loaned a P200 from the Gilson Pipetman M range by my Fisher Scientific rep a few weeks back. If you’re used to the manual Gilsons (they were all I had during my undergraduate years), the Pipetman M will look very familiar. The form of the pipette is essentially the same, with the plunger replaced by a big button. The display is also different, instead of being numbers like on a car speedo, there’s a sharp digital display on the top of the pipette. Apart from the big button, there’s a smaller button for changing modes, and that’s about it. The tip ejector is the same, and the pipette feels as light as the manual Gilsons dotted around the lab.
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