All this means spending long hours in front of the computer screen that send my eyes funny ....but it needs to be done before I can really get going with my lab work. But I have been doing some small experiments this week, mainly to check that my seed stocks still germinate. Kept properly, most types of plant seed can survive for years, or even decades...but given that mine were apparently stored in a cardboard box on the roof of the department (?!) while I was on leave of absence means it's just as well to check!
And the results so far have been intriguing... despite being kept in the same box, my tubes of Arabidopsis seed had very different outcomes: some had 100% germination, others more like 50% and others none at all. Why this is the case is a complete mystery to me...and one that is beyond the scope of this PhD!
|Seed from Tube F (left) : dead as a doornail. But Tube A - 100% vitality. Why...???!|
As the days speed by, they bring me ever closer to my first daunting challenge of the year - FameLAB 2017! Contestants have just 3 minutes to explain a scientific topic of their choice, without PowerPoint or audio, and only using the props they can carry on stage. I don't expect to get further than the regional heats, but to me, the experience is the main thing and it's all useful 'Public Engagement' evidence for the CV. My decided topic is a little outside the realm of plant science...so much so that this week I went to a completely different department to check my understanding with an real expert on the subject! I won't say more here....but if you want to see my make an idiot of myself, come along to the Yorkshire heats on Thursday 2nd February, 7.00pm at the Crucible Theatre (follow the link here to book- tickets are free).
Don't forget, I'm active on the TwitterSphere now, and you can share my moments in the lab by following me @sciencedestiny or #backtoworkinthelab
And with that, I wish you a happy, slow and restful weekend!