Off to a rocky start

Hi All-

Today was my first real day doing chem stuff. I've never really done much work in microliters before (for my non-science buddies, 1 mL = 1,000 microliters and we were working on scales ranging from 0.05-5.0 microliters). It took me all day to make the mixed reagent and a series of 7 standards (which was waaay too long). I finally got to do my first standard run before dinner, but the curve was no good. Dan (my supervisor) checked it and said, "it's not the worst I've seen, but it's not great." I was pretty defeated. I had meticulously worked all day to get my first standard curve and I only got an "okay." After dinner I returned to give it another go--making sure everything was mixed and there were no random miniscule droplets anywhere--while the principal investigators (PIs) sat and waited for me to finish. Once the reagents were added, the whole reaction requires at least a half hour to complete the reaction. The curve was much better, with only 4 rouge points. Once these were removed, it wasn't too shabby with an r-sq of 0.995 ... it only took me 12 hours to get it.
Posted on June 16, 2009 .