Well, this past week Greg, Malisa, and myself have spent more time in lab outside of our designated TThu 1 – 4 slot than during that time slot! We have been busy doing more PCR’s – we have gotten even MORE successful results using just inner primers for our subculture DNA extracts! If there is ANYTHING I learn from superlab this semester, it is preparing PCR reactions and sterilizing loops for restreaking and plating. We have been cooped in lab, late at night, ligating and transforming our successful PCR products. Almost all of our ligated products were successfully transformed (only 3 were unsuccessful…tomorrow we’ll see whether Iruka wants us to try retransforming them again) and we have just finished setting up liquid cultures to let our wee little white colonies grow! Furthermore, we have been playing plant anatomist, dissecting and staining samples of our species of interest, the Norway Spruce. Greg, Malisa, and I have become pros at carefully slicing pine needles and stems in all directions – I think it’s safe to say we could all become surgeons with our stead hands (all thanks to Jon Wilson’s tips. of course). After slicing, we stained each sample in a variety of stains in order to identify different tissues such as xylem, phloem, cuticle, etc. It took us a few tries to get the staining right (we either didn’t keep the sample in the stain for long enough or overstained it by leaving it in too long…we had a few samples overstained with safranin that looked like the devil’s eye…) but alas, got some decently stained samples and imaged them for our records. Until next time!