Autumn: Status Check


So here it is, the end of summer. The beginning of Autumn. I’m leaving the NIH and moving back to Oxford November 1. This is a rather arbitrary date, but then again, as I’ve come to learn, many things in the life of a PhD student are arbitrary. For a long time the date was October 1st, but then a shipment of mice back in May was backordered by several weeks, so it got moved back a month.

November 1. 39 days.

So far, everything seems to be reasonably under control. I learnt how to do qPCR last week so there will be a lot qPCR stuff. And the last big surgery was done on Thursday of last week, with the DIVAA transplants coming out in 2 days. Oh, and my final regular transplants were embedded yesterday and will be sectioned tomorrow. Finally, everything seems to be coming together.

Except for the staining. In order for my grand PhD scheme to work I need to stain and quantify the amount of blood vessels in transplants. So far, I haven’t yet gotten this to work, and it’s imperative that it starts to work soon. Because I intend to retroactively stain all the slides I’ve made during my. This quantity to get through is really large, and will take time to stain, image, quantify, and analyze. The staining is the one huge hurdle to my success. I may have to take some of it to Oxford to finish there, which goes against my plan of just writing and not doing any bench work in Oxford – but hopefully I can finish before then.

So… I’ll keep updating the blog regularly – the next blog post is going to be about how to measure the velocity of cells. Please also check on me on Twitter (@makingbones) – starting October 1st I’ll be tweeting daily on progress in the countdown towards the big move!