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The header is inspired by an idea I've got gestating at the moment. I'll probably post more about it when I've had the chance to think coherently. Basically, it boils down to the fact that our education system is failing our youth, I have a very scientific mind, and I'm ridiculously lucky to have the opportunity to work where I do (The Robarts Research Institute).

Insert blurb about why any of this came up to begin with )

I kind of want to see Bob McDonald do a TED talk.

In other news, I've signed up to run the half marathon in Orlando in February, and I'm committed to raising $4,500 CAN for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada. I'll post my fundraising website shortly (my high school physics teacher donated 100$, because he's awesome), but I really need some help come up with fundraising ideas.

So far, I plan on selling the rubber bracelets (like the yellow livestrong ones, only purple and for Team in Training and blood cancer research), and I'm thinking of doing a few bake sales/waffle breakfasts.

Any other ideas?

Finally a meme )

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Start with the meme, which I keep forgetting:

Day 07 - The most heartbreaking scene? )

Day 08 - The pairing with the most baggage? )

Remaining days )

It's been such a long time since I've been able to use my go go science! tag. The last three weeks of work before I went on holidays was plagued by badly made common stocks that killed my cells, missing reagents, and the epic stress of grant writing season. I was getting dangerously close to the "I hate science and want to start [insert questionable career of your choice here, I'm thinking guppy breeding]."

That said, this week I've successfully cloned a mutation into one of the isoforms of my protein, and I've successfully detected SUMOylation of both isoforms.

In non-science terms, I've found something that contributes to our understanding of how certain nerve cells work. Ideally, this will shed light on what happens to our brains as we age and in different neurodegenerative diseases.

I've got another three to four years of work to do on this, but it isn't hopless!!!

\o/!

Also, I'm going to go to Cuba next year! It's mostly exciting, because I haven't actually gone anywhere for vacation since I was seventeen. I managed to score an invite for a course in Brazil in April, which was a free trip there (the first time I'd left southern Ontario in six years), but this will be the first for pleasure only trip in a while. [livejournal.com profile] bloodredmoon1, aka my awesome British friend, is in to go with me. We're waiting on a few more people, but I'll probably have the trip booked by next week.

On another note, I got feedback from [livejournal.com profile] fleshlycherry about by D/C BB. Lots of sections to revise and rework because she calls me on it every time I fall into summarizing/skipping scenes, for being to wordy, and for waving my slash wand and going with the "because I said so" explanation. She didn't call me on my overuse of semicolons

I'm lucky she likes me as much as she does, because she isn't even a D/C shipper.

I've gotten to thinking about my NaNo, though, which is the sequel to the BB. I'm thinking it's going to need more Crowley, and after reading Good Omens, I've decided to go with the fact that it's the same demon. That said, should I include Aziraphale?

I'm also trying to decide if I should include the crossover bit that didn't actually get hinted in the BB. It's also trying to blend in with my [livejournal.com profile] syfybigbang, because hey, that's the way my brain works, but I've put my foot down, because it's too ridiculous.

Which leads me to the only not awesome part of my day: What to do my syfy/merlin BB on?

Also, SPN premiere tomorrow! My dad's birthday party was rescheduled for Sunday, so I'll be able to watch the whole thing as it airs! I'm pathetically excited.

All of the positive vibes I'm grooving with right now have translated into helping me shed some of the weight I put on while sick, which is also happy making.

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I think I deserve a reward >.>

I was so very pleased with myself on Wednesday when I'd gotten myself to the 15000 word mark for the Big Bang, and I thought meeting the deadline would be easy.

Except that when I mentioned a while ago that my supervisor had a grant up for review, I may have not put the correct emphasis on the urgency of her grants.

Turns out that it's EPIC GRANT WRITING SEASON OF DOOM!!!!1! for all of the primary investigators in my research group, and it comes around every five years. On Wednesday, J sat us all down to discuss the first grant up for review, and put the fear of god into half of the lab. E, the Polish lab tech is swamped because she has to make stable cell lines for one of our protein constructs, she's the only one with access to the mice we use, and she's the resident expert on confocal microscopy in our lab. D, the Chinese lab tech is busy doing activity assays and protein work, and K, the Canadian lab tech is on vacation. Then there's S, the mother of twins who just finished her PhD, who believes she is solely responsible for competing all of the needed experiments o.O

V and I kind of laugh, because V is finished next week, and she's taking a month off to look for housing and a vehicle in Washington (DC), while I'm of the mentality that I'll do the work I have to do, and if it coincides with some fo the stuff J wants, I'll do that too. I'm not going to kill myself trying to get things done, because I've learned from experience that you end up making mistakes and falling behind.

I've got three experiments planned for before my holidays, and I can use them to look at additional proteins, so I'm not going to worry much about it.

On the Big Bang front, I submitted my draft at 11:59 pm (which is funny, even though we had until uh... today at 1pm to get it in). Word count is sitting at ~21,000, plus headers and the outline of the scenes I still need to write.

This weekend I'm going to go back to my parents place, abuse their laundry machines, go shopping at stores I actually like, then go party it up with [livejournal.com profile] fleshlycherry, [livejournal.com profile] themega5, and [livejournal.com profile] ghostj with a night of drinks, dancing, and general good times.

Then I'm going to go back into the lab on Sunday to get ready for a week of manic lab mates and experiments.

On the plus side, B12 supplements and getting back to boot camp seem to be helping. I'm feeling much more awake and functional. I had four productive, if long days in the lab this week. :)

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Been a little while since I posted last, so I've got a nice update to give.

1) There is laundry thief in my appartment building, stealing mostly women's undergraments. They posted the memo about two hours after I did a load of laundry. Now I'm concerned I'm missing clothing.
1a) I've been watching too much criminal minds, and reading profiling text books. Underwear theft can escalate to rape >.>
1b) I'm going back to my parents house to do laundry from now on.

2) EXPERIMENTS ARE WORKING!!!!1! There is strong evidence to suggest my protein of interest is being modified. Now I'm going to look at the other isoform of my protein, and of the modifier. I'm going to make mutant proteins to find the interaction site, and I'm going to treat my cells with funky things to see if it alters binding or activity. I might even look into siRNA to see if it knocks down the funky activity we see in our protein.

3) I spent a great five days with my awesome British friend. I spent a ridiculous amount of money on jewelry, completed some great sets, saw five plays, drank a lot of wine, talked a lot of fanfic, and watched Secret Diary of a Call Girl. I want to go back now.

4) There was a huge storm that rolled over London last night. I was outside doing bootcamp (which got cancelled half way through due to the weather). It was literally rolling, too. You could see about five different cloud fronts passing over head, with the storm front being this huge black roiling thing. Once I got to my car I tried to chase it so I could take a picture, but it was moving at a fair pace, and the London traffic system is designed to stop you at nearly every light, and it doesn't provide advanced greens.

5) Planning the SPN weekend to end all weekends with [livejournal.com profile] fleshlycherry. It makes me happy. Now I just need to get on my BigBang. I've submitted the summary, and I'm about 1/10 of the way through the word count, with just the prologue. It's going to be a monster fic, I think.



dosciencetoit: (Default)


This is a super long post about real life (and somewhat fandom, so I'll break it down).

Because, unlike my dear friend fleshlycherry, my brain crosses everything over: )

Funny side story: )

In awesome lab news that means I have no weekend: )

Hoping to get everything done before I go away for a superlong weekend next week to visit my awesome British friend P to do wine tastings and see a bazzilion plays.

*sighs contently*

Life is pretty good right now.

(ETA: I keep having to edit this because I'm finding typos and format issues. I think it's because I nearly split my skull open last night when I banged my head against a cabinet door. Bled and everything >.>)

dosciencetoit: (Default)


Some exciting real life news:

I get to go to Brazil!

Granted, I'm going to Sau Paulo, which is probably the biggest, dirtiest city in the Western Hemisphere, but it's in Brazil, and it's free, and it's about Translational Science!

I'll be out of the country from the April 19-30th. The downside to this is that I have to get a visa, and it means there are two weeks that I can't do research, and the abstract deadline for Neuroscience 2010 (in San Diego) is May 13th, which means the next several weeks must be crammed full of work so that I have something to submit.

On the research front, new plasmids are almost finished being prepared, so SUMOylation assays can continue, and the microscopy is picking up now that I'm not working with garbage cells. :)

Go Go Science!

dosciencetoit: (Default)

I was late to my own presentation this afternoon because I was developing a western blot that came out as a smear. On the plus side, it was only 10 minutes late, and my lab mates were entertained by cake.

The presentation (which should have only been 20 minutes long) went an hour, because my supervisor and two lab mates were speculating on my project and asking lots of questions about specificity, etc...

I didn't know the answers, until it came to E3-ligases, and the RAN binding protein family. I mentioned RANBP2 is an E3 ligase, and then one of the girls said, "Oh yeah, I remember RANBP2 coming up in one of my assays with your protein of interest."

So, suddenly, I have an E3-ligase that I know binds to my enzyme, and it's in the nucleus, and it's expressed in neurons. It also relates to the cell cycle things my lab mate is working on.

Suddenly I feel much better about my blot not turning out.

:)

Huzzah!

Dec. 1st, 2009 05:35 pm
dosciencetoit: (Default)

I am an awesome TA, because I repeatedly reschedule with people who cancel on me for extra lessons, and because I arrange not one, but two review sessions for my students during their exam breaks.

That, and I buy them candy.

I wonder if I should get them to nominate me for some teaching awards.

Additionally, I may have just detected a novel protein interaction in my research, which would help to explain why my protein does funny things in the brain as we age.

Hurray! Topic to chase, which will potentially get me a trip to Hawaii for the International Alzheimer's conference this summer.

(Because I really, desperately want to leave southern Ontario!).

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