Whether it be me meeting someone around the lab in case I have questions, or the whirring of the instruments that we are using, the lab is never dull or quiet. It has been a week since I have worked at the lab, and I have to say that I am really enjoying it! I have met most of the members of our research team, and they are all very nice people. First, I had to go through training, but it was more like online safety training. It was a simple task, and I was finished the first day. I was given the tour of the lab and shown some of the equipment that I will be working with. That was the extent of my first day. My second day was more interesting, as we got to prepare a solution that we would dissolve one of our glycolipids in. We did this in order to put it into the tensiometer, which I learned how to operate and clean. Learning how to do all of that was very delicate and fragile, and it’s going to take some time to master.
The third day was a shorter day, we had to take our results from the tensiometer and analyze them. I was taught how to use the software that came with the instrument, which wasn’t too hard. The last thing we had to do was get my lab notebook, and I was shown the where I could purchase supplies for the lab. Today was a long day, as we had to prepare another solution for the instrument known as a rotovap, a device that uses evaporation and a condenser to remove unwanted substances from our mixtures. In our case, we had to remove acetic acid from our solution, and we also had to ethyl acetate as well. So I was tasked with that, which took quite some time. We also received a new part for an instrument that performs HPLC, so we prepared a new batch of methanol for cleaning it, and we also purged the detector unit. Lastly, we ran into some trouble with the internal heater in the detector, so we spent the last bit of time replace nitrogen tanks for the purging and cleaning process.
ABOVE: HPLC System with new batch of MeOH and a new column attached.
Rotovap with a sample lowered into a hot water bath.