This week was pretty exciting Kevin and I got to do a lot of new work. Monday we dissected venom ducts from the species Conus regularis and Conus mahogani to get a sample to be used in the lab later for the conotoxin project. We have been purifying similar venom samples and characterizing them to be tested in in vivo models later on. On Tuesday I worked directly with my mentor to perform an RNA extraction from fibroblast cells for the new photo-aging project. It was a very delicate process that had to be done very slowly and carefully but it was interesting. Wednesday was our introduction to working with the lab mice. We learned how to handle the animals and the protocol for conducting different assays. Thursday I worked again with my mentor and was introduced to their cell cultures. I learned how use their cell culture room and equipment and began culturing a line of cells for tests next week. Friday we performed another assay with mice, gathering positive and negative controls for our future experiments.
We had a great weekend! My dad came into town to visit and to take Kevin and I fishing. We went out on a boat Saturday morning and caught about 15 red snapper/white fish between the three of us. Had lunch in town, then went back to the apartment and made ceviche from the fresh fish. Kevin and I are getting good at making ceviche. In the evening we went to eat enchiladas in the city center then visited some locals bars. Sunday we worked out, did a little studying and made steaks for dinner.