Saturday, January 23, 2010

Time for the lab report

Before I could enjoy my morning coffee I had to throw on some sweats, dress my daughter and dart into the lab to setup an experiment that will hopefully support one of my many hypotheses.  I am in a time crunch because I really want to generate (good) data before I have to give lab meeting in two weeks.  What does "give lab meeting" mean? Well, every week my thesis lab gathers together to hold a lab meeting.  During this lab meeting, one member of the lab will present his/her data to the rest of the lab members, including our PI (Principle Investigator aka "the boss.") The presentation is typically in the form of PowerPoint slides and lasts for about one hour.  During the presentation, the presenter shares the rationale, methods and results for his/her recent experiments. If s/he encountered any problems with the experiment, we usually try to aid the presenter by suggesting alternative protocols, reagents, etc.  Sometimes the presenter will reveal data that was unanticipated, which is always interesting!  The lab meeting will conclude with a discussion on future goals that the presenter will hope to accomplish by the time s/he is scheduled to present again.  In our lab, I present about once a month, which is a reasonable amount of time to generate new data. I have a few experiments in progress and in about a week and a half, I will know if I will be going into the lab meeting with great data or so-so data. Until then, I am keeping my fingers crossed!

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