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Showing posts from June, 2008

I'm so absent-minded

Biked a truncated version of Blue Clay on Sunday (was trying out a Trek Fuel, hehehehehe), and as we started packing up, raindrops descended on our heads. In the hurry to leave before we got too wet, I must have left my less than a year-old helmet and biking gloves on top of Wendy's car. Sighs. Went back to next day but no sign of either, not even crushed silver powder on the roads. Am severely bummed out!!

Seem to be deep in a flurry of bike-related purchases. Starting with....my new baby!! That's right, I decided I wasn't going to bother with cheapo steel tanks or mess around with other people's bikes and just get the shiniest new bike that sets my heart a-flutter. And so...it was with some trembling that I handed my credit card over at the bike shop on Friday and got myself a Cannondale Synapse (alloy, not carbon, I still want to afford to eat...)! Yay!!! Pretty new bike!! Some might think that I've betrayed my first roadie by getting this one, but sweetie, you l…

I guess I'm in

So I have unofficial confirmation that I'm accepted into UNCW's PhD program in Marine Biology, and just received an email from the Director of International Student and Scholar Services congratulating me on my acceptance and asking about the change in my I-20. So I suppose...em...Woohoo? Sorry if I seem a little understated right now, I think I'll get more excited once the official letters come in and the news sinks in. :)

Self-doubt

After the exhilaration of obtaining positive results on the cruise, I'm back to Wilmington and back to reality. 6 months in, and I'm still struggling to optimise a reaction to amplify and sequence a gene of interest from the Mycale genus of sponges. It doesn't help that learning all these protocols and their steps require constant repetition and I'm always away this summer. Was happy to have amplified the ITS gene before Key Largo, but the cloning got stymied by a bum cloning kit. The next two attempts didn't succeed, and today, I couldn't even get the PCR reaction working, although I tried twice. What frustrates me is that unlike in ecological research, I don't really know how to proceed to troubleshoot all these problems. The protocol is like a giant black box, and when there's a negative result, I don't know if it's due to my error, insufficient DNA, annealing temperatures and what have you.

Just got reminded not too gently that I should start…