"A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything." - Friedrick Nietzsche

Atheist, scientist, secular Buddhist, rat lover, etc.

Originally from Iowa,I am a biology graduate student at Memorial University of Newfoundland.



can we just talk about the memorial university youtube ads?

they keep popping up on the videos im watching and they make me SO FUCKING MAD

Really embarrassing…. MUN has to resort to memes? Unprofessional.

Then again, they are trying to attract high school students… Just wish they’d do it  tastefully. These are worse than Jiffy’s ads in The Muse.

Not gonna lie, I like the double rainbow one.  And high schoolers are more likely to click on one of these than some nice, polished, “professional” one, I’d say.  Hell, I saw some of these while applying to grad school and they certainly didn’t deter me from coming here.Though if they had a picture of the science building on the website that might have done the trick, ha.  

Any interest?

So, if I were to add a page to this tumblr-thinger of mine about my research would anyone be interested in reading it? I work with antibiotic production in Streptomyces clavuligerus.  My primary project, the one for which I am funded, deals with proteomic analysis of wild-type clavulanic acid-producing S. clavuligerus vs. bldG mutants that are defective in clavulanic acid production.  My side project which I will be starting once my undergrad honors student shows up will be on holomycin production (another non-clavam antibiotic with anti-tumoral properties) in the same species.  

So, how about it? The excitement of working in a biosafety level 2 lab. Worth my time to write about on here or no? Feel free to comment or message or what nots.


Recap: Week 1 in the Lab

Basically my first week in lab has been getting to know where everything is and how to turn everything on.  I did a cosmid extraction, made some competent E. coli cells, and mixed a bunch of media and different solutions (SDS, NaOH, etc.) that I will be needing throughout my research.  The people in our lab seem to be pretty cool, which is good because no one wants to work with a bunch of assholes. :)  My lab is really diverse: there is a Canadian, a Sri Lankan, and myself (the American), and there is a fourth student coming from Bangladesh (I think) sometime soon.  The lab next to us (the two labs are connected and we share all of the equipment) has a couple of Canadians, a Chinese guy, and a woman from Saudi Arabia.  It is supremely excellent.    I’m still pretty overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that I need to memorize - door codes, passwords, protocols, how to turn shit on and make it run without breaking, etc.  But I will get there eventually, it will just take a bit of time and patience.  

Fun fact: our lab is the only BSL-2 lab on campus (not including the Hospital, no idea what they have over there).

So, today I discovered that I had left some rolls in my backpack over the weekend and they had gone stale.  Instead of throwing them away I figured, hey why not feed them to the ducks and pigeons that hang out by Burton’s Pond? Not the best idea. It was terrifying. One of the ducks bit me. But hey I managed to get some sweet photos after I threw the last roll way away from me.

Paperwork, bank accounts, yet more paperwork in the future; plus, the longest name ever.

Spent all day running around doing paperwork at MUN (granted most of that time was spent being lost in the Science building).  Almost all of the buildings on campus are connected by skywalks, which is lovely when it is cold out; however, if you are completely directionally challenged like I am, it makes things that much more difficult.  At least two hours of my day today were spent aimlessly wandering back and forth between the chemistry and geology departments trying to find the biology department.  And it is still not done; I have to wait for my registration to actually register on the system before I can get my student card or medical cards, which will entail more getting lost trying to find buildings and/or offices.  On a positive note, I get my own desk in the biology grad student office. I’m pretty excited.  Set up a bank account today as well, which took all of 10 minutes. Yay, MUN can pay me now! Also, anyone banking with Wells Fargo in the States (I feel your pain), keep in mind: they are apparently incapable of performing a simple wire transfer over the phone, so be sure to get that done before you like, leave the country and are hundreds of miles away from the closest physical location.  

Here is a photo of what has got to be the longest surname in history. Found it on my wanderings, enjoy. Also, posts of you trying to pronounce it would be delightful.