Tag Archives: BioE

Confessions of a BioE Lab Rat

(Well, not really a lab rat, since these are my confessions, and I’m not a rat.  I don’t even work with rats.  It’s an idiom.  I hang out in the lab a lot.  Anyway…)

I use pipette tips from the box in a pattern. I’ve tried diagonally, and my longest run has been removing alternate rows and columns so the group remaining looks like a square, but I’ve really settled on removing one column at a time. (Someone else analyzed this!  Kindred spirits!)

Diagonal method - from scienceblogs.com

I pray for my blood samples. Well, I pray for the people they belonged to. The blood samples themselves don’t need much prayer, except, Please, Lord, let my experiment work.

I secretly love the 1.5 min breaks I have between experiment runs. It’s impossible to get any real work done in 1.5min, but I can sure surf Pinterest!

Optics tables are grown-up tinkertoys. ‘Nuf said.

I take my 3D-printed parts out of the heater early so I can play with the wax. I do think it goes faster my way since I help the process along, rather than letting the oven melt all the wax. And afterwards, it feels like elementary school, when you put Elmer’s glue on your fingertips just so you could peel it off. (Anybody else?)

– I’ve contemplated taking a nap at the microscope. Think about it: with your eyes in the eyepiece, it’s (1) totally dark, assuming you’ve turned down the lamp, and (2) no one will assume you’re doing anything but very important science.

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We Need Each Other

Did you know?
Without some sort of signals from the outside world, cells apoptose. That is, without another cell sending them a hormone or an outside force pushing or pulling on them, cells die.

Obviously, this cellular phenomenon applies to us multi-cellular organisms, too. Sanctus Real’s simple lyrics in the song We Need Each Other express this idea. Humans were not created to live in isolation – we need friends and family to push our buttons, pull us out of bed, wrap us in bear hugs, and send us the message of, “You are not alone.”  It’s how we survive.

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Lab Equipment

Our lab got a Crock Pot today.
It lives next to the toaster oven.

Life is good.

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God in Graduate School

You might think, in a field like Bioengineering, it’s hard to see God’s beauty.
Here’s what I’ve seen in my first two weeks.

The lab in which I’m shadowing uses nanoparticles to detect disease. Strangely enough, depending on the size and aggregation of the particles, gold can look red or green. The grad student off-handedly remarked that some pieces of stained glass were made with embedded nanoparticles.

Windows at the Cloisters in New York City.

In one class, we’re learning how to manufacture things in the machine shop. As one of my classmates worked on her piece, I stared, fascinated, at the aluminum spirals peeling off the machine. The perfect ringlets looked like they belonged on the head of an angel.

Shavings of aluminum (from tinyurl.com/AlShaving)

Leonardo's angel

God’s workmanship is everywhere. I do not study the Dead Sea Scrolls, the lives of church fathers, or how people love one another, but still I see Him.
He made gold such that it can change colors, and He knew before the foundation of the world that people would use it both to tell His story through glass and to heal His children through diagnostics.
We know that He makes beauty from ashes, so why not angel hair from machine shop refuse?
He made the heart better at keeping man alive than anything else man can create.
He wrote the true equations of fluid mechanics, equations we can only approximate.

Our whole world cries out to its Maker!  And I get to study it!

This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought.

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