Friday, July 10, 2009

Who'd have thought?!

So, since I'm leaving the lab before my project is finished, I am hoping to hand it off to someone else in the lab. I had a meeting yesterday with one of the other PhD students to give hir a rundown on the whole thing. To prepare for the meeting I actually went back to read portions of my PhD thesis where I had written a discussion about what I thought might be going on and how to proceed and test those ideas. Now, I think 99% of people probably never open their thesis again after the exam, unless it's for a method or something. Usually if I hear someone re-read their thesis they find a load of errors/typos/things that just don't make sense, so I was expecting that. So I was pleasantly surprised to find I still liked what I'd written. It made sense, was well thought out and made some great points that I admit I'd kind of forgotten about over the last year or so. Who'd have thought? I worked really hard on my thesis when I was at a very difficult low point in my personal life. It was a major accomplishment for me to finish it and hand it in. I even had it bound in beautiful linen fabric cover in my favorite colour of sky blue. I'm so pleased to still like it.

On the experimental front I managed to confirm *most* of my antibody/construct results yesterday, just a few things to tweak a bit before I can move on to new things. I'm leaving for 10 days starting tonight so I'm looking forward to the break and coming back refreshed and ready to start fresh with new experiments.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Data outliers....

We had an interesting discussion this morning in a group meeting. Say you do an experiment on 5 independent days. Each day's data consists of multiple parallel replicates for each experiment, including an internal positive control. If one of the days shows that the internal control was actually negative, is it ok to throw away the whole data set for that day (because something was wrong with the assay?)? What if the other days showed a lot (or very little) variation? Does it make any difference if the experiment is a Western Blot, versus an immunostaining, versus a quantitative measurement (like cell proliferation values, or a luciferase reporter)? To be honest, I think I'd throw out that whole day as an off day and repeat it or use the n of 4 days... What say you?

In other news, I got wicked nice looking data with my new antibodies yesterday... today I'll try to reconfirm with antibodies against the tags instead of the protein of interest. AND I think there might be someone to take over my project when I leave, and s/he'd be the PERFECT choice - I'd be so happy to have this settled and start some work together before I have to leave. So, yeah!