I just took the genetics midterm today. Not sure how it'd go, because the material this time is a lot complicated, conceptual, and the professor is a bad lecturer. Like my friend said, he bombards everyone with loads of random information and expects us to know. My classmates are probably on the same boat. I've heard a lot of people dropping their calculators on the floor during the exam. I guess it was because they got too nervous.
The good news is I seem to do better in physics class with time. It was just like when I started learning college chemistry. With no strong previous training, I got very nervous for falling behind my peers. With time and hard work, and the material builds up on itself, I grasp the concepts faster and deeper than many classmates: I tend to, want to seek the meaning behind those mathematic calculations and am able to concentrate. (Well, as long as the math doesn't get more complicated than algebra and trigonometry.) My physics TA gave me a high-five today for solving a hard problem regarding harmonic oscillation on my own.
My lab work is going slow recently, nevertheless. The first dot blot analysis I did showed that my bacteria weren't producing any the protein, JHBP-SUMO. Professor G. and I have spent a lot of time trying to troubleshoot, and I've been even encountering troubles on those troubleshooting experiments. The works of the previous student showed that our bacteria were producing the right protein at some points, but very small amounts, and the bacteria seemed to cleave the protein into half. Professor G. raised an interesting point, which is, the bacteria might dislike this protein product and release it outside of the cells. Our dot blots so far only test samples of lysed bacteria, for we assumed that the protein stayed inside the cells after being synthesized.
My sleeps in the past week have been too short to have dreams, but I probably had a very vague dream that the bacteria indeed spit the protein out, and I find much more JHBP-SUMO in the LB cell medium. I'm getting a little frustrated and I hope things will becoming more clear by the end of this year.
Oh, that's random but, the graduate student of Professor G. told me that insects are incapable of feeling pain; or rather, they don't feel pain the same way vertebrates do. Physical harm for them is but negative stimuli. It's one of the main reasons why there are no protocols of regulating experiments on most invertebrates. This at least makes me feel better when we have to bleed Manduca caterpillars for experiments.
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