Friday, July 11, 2014

Playing Catch-Up

Oy. It's almost mid-July and the total number of my summer posts is embarrassingly low. The problem is, the more I put off writing a post, the harder it is to write one. Vicious cycles and all that.

The main excuse I would like to submit this time for dereliction of blogging duties would be my summer internship. Long story ignored, I have a biochem internship this summer at my 'home' university of ASU. I might not technically attend ASU ((well okay I do in fact 'technically' attend ASU since I signed up with the intention of taking summer classes)) I basically consider it my university. This summer things just fell together and I, a physic chick, found myself wonderfully out of my comfort zone.

Since I brought up the topic to my internship, I can't resist talking a bit of science about what I'm doing: the overall goal is the extraction of Manganese Peroxidase for the development of a peroxide sensor. Or so goes the title of my poster I'm going to present in a couple weeks at a local conference. These past few weeks I've been extracting MnPox from corn seeds. The hard work of trans-genetic biology was already done, and all I had to learn was how to get the enzyme out of the corn seeds.

Here is a woefully blurry picture of one of the many purification steps the enzyme/buffer mixture has to go through. This specific step helps to filter out natural corn proteins that are in the corn seeds.

My internship is not the only factor contributing to my surprisingly busy summer life. I've been studying for the general GRE, which I took this morning, for perhaps a month now. Now that that's out of the way, I get to move on to studying for the much harder physics GRE!

This is one of the busiest summers ever, I believe.

One final excuse: things start to pile up, pictures I want to show, brief stories I want to tell. By the time I finally procrastinated from reading the riveting titled 'Immobilized Enzyme Review' which I really do need to finish, to write this post I had a smattering of photos to share, none of them really connected with each other. But such is life.

Let's see. There was the park my friend and I finally got around to checking out-- it's an island off a bridge we always take to get into Little Rock. We always said we would go and a couple of weeks ago we finally did. It was more expansive than we had previously imagined and was a lot of fun. Even if we did get lost. On a concrete path. On an island.

There was the spontaneous one two year reunion I had with my horse Bryan. Summer after my freshman year in college I took a equitation class that was a blast.

((So I've dropped my phone too many times and my camera has decided that taking good, clear photos is overrated))

Then there was that gorgeous trail ride I did a couple weeks back-- I finally hauled my bike out to the local park and rode around some of the trails.

Even though I've been crazy busy-- what with learning/teaching myself some biology/chemistry, a near full time internship, and the graduate exam-- I've managed to carve out some time to read and try my hand at my newest artistic endeavor: watercolor.

Once, while I was in France, Michelle and I were taking the train back to our town of Saint Etienne. The French never bothered with this idea of train seats 'selling out'. Their mentality was to sell unlimited tickets for a limited space, and if you wanted it, you would worm your way onto the the train. Every seat was taken, the loading spaces were packed, and the stairwells were staked out. Michelle and I ended up standing up in the aisles on the second level. While this seat offered zero comfort points, it did lend itself to people watching. One of the girls who was using the stairwell as a seat had a little journal out, and a couple watercolor pens. Michelle and I nudged each other, impressed by her quick sketching skills with the watercolor pens. Her back was to us so I gawked obnoxiously, wishing that I had her skills.

One of the first things I did when I got back to the US was to go out and buy some watercolor pens.

While I'm not artist, I am slowly getting better.

And in my yard, there is no dearth of inspiration. ((sorry, I memorized a bunch of obnoxiously large words for the GRE and now I feel the need to use them as often as possible))

Whew! That about catches us up to the present! I'll try and post more often-- but as for right now, I really need to get back to the 'carrier methods of functional groups' and their role in enzyme immobilization.

Thanks for reading!