Hi guys! I have officially begun my work in the lab and it is so exciting watching all the cool things people are working on. I can’t go into too much detail about the specifics of what the lab team did, but I will describe some of the things I learned how to do.
The very first thing I learned was how to mount slides. This basically means that after the experiments have been conducted, it is time to examine the brain tissue to understand the results. To do this we have to place these thin sheets of tissue onto a slide, so it can be studied under a microscope. The cool thing about this is that since the tissue samples are so delicate, you mount them using a paintbrush. It was a very relaxing experience!
The next day that I went into the lab, things got even more intense. Several lab members were conducting surgeries on their rats. I observed one from start to finish and was then asked if I wanted to assist on the next one. Of course I said yes! The goal of this surgery was to implant cannulas into the brain to understand how drugs affected a certain part. It was very fascinating!
Lastly, I learned to stain. Those slides that I mounted earlier had now dried and it was time to stain them so we can see the neurons clearly. To stain, the slide is first dehydrated, placed in a crystal purple stain, and then rehydrated.
Next week I’ll be back with more stories about new things I learn in the lab!