Week 5: Working towards Independence

Lately I have been working towards being able to work on my own without the supervisor keeping an eye on me due to the possible addition of two new workers in our lab. It is possible that one of the new workers is going to be occupying the same office as I, which entails my supervisor the task of teaching him what goes on around here, as he did for me. The new workers are technicians, so I am not positive that they will be doing the same work as me, but in any case, my supervisor has made it his (and my own) goal to become more independent in the lab. This means that I can work on creating the samples that I am testing as well as cleaning and maintenance of the instruments that I use. Currently, that basically only includes the tensiometer and the materials. But independence here does not only mean being able to set up and executing the experiments, but also analyzing and understanding the results.

I have been learning how to process the data slowly throughout the whole time I have been here, but this past week or so, I have collected the data from the software and analyzed it myself and then compared it to what my supervisor has gotten. I have a feeling that I am understanding more and more what to expect from these results, as well as the trends that are apparent as we transition from different pH values. This change has proven to be quite the task, as we are not exactly getting similar results as we had with a previous pH value. It is possible that there is slight contamination in our sample, but we are awaiting one last test run. One of the difficulties we had was creating the buffer for the sample, as shown below.Buffer solution

Using these, we have had to make two separate samples of our molecule, one in which our pH is adjusted after adding the buffer, and one where the sample is not adjusted. These have gotten us mixed results and is a bit frustrating, but that doesn’t stop our progress. Thank you for reading!

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One thought on “Week 5: Working towards Independence

  1. Glad you’re gaining independence! That’s a great sign your supervisor doesn’t feel the need to hover over you any more. Keep it up!

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