TLC, patience, pigments.

Yesterday I worked on using thin layer chromatography (TLC) to separate the pigments in the two species of Algae I am working with for my experiment. The concept of chromatography is that a solvent dissolves the pigments and then by capillary action rises slowly along the TLC strip. There are several factors that determine how … Continue reading

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Rainy day nutrient analysis protocol

The last couple days have been overcast, and rainy. This is not typical weather for Townsville in winter. It is usually between 70-75 and sunny. My experiment is going well. I am allowing my experiment time to grow and the culture to become dense so I can analyze the nutrients consumed by the growing micro … Continue reading

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Navy’s green fleet and biofuels from algae.

The Guardian published an article on Monday US Navy’s ‘great green fleet’ sets sail for Pacific. “A US Navy oiler slipped away from a fuel depot on the Puget Sound in Washington state last week, headed toward the central Pacific and into the storm over the Pentagon’s controversial green fuels initiative. In its tanks, the USNS … Continue reading

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Microphotography

Today I used an $ 80,000.00 fluorescent microscope. I made wet mounts and learned a new technique that keeps the cells from moving around under high magnification, and oil immersion. I started with various samples in micro vials of micro-algae, ciliates, and micro-algae exposed to doses of chemicals that are intended to kill contaminants (ciliates) … Continue reading

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Slow and Steady Science

 

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Lab Day 2; Jet Lag?

I woke up at 4:00am again today. I was wide awake so I decided to read. I’m reading Ignorance How It Drives Science by Stuart Firestein. I like how the book frames science as creating questions that are yet to be answered, rather than the accumulation of knowledge. The chapter starts out,  “Is there anything … Continue reading

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Introductions

Today was my first day in the lab. I will introduce the people I will be working with in order of appearance. I arrived at the lab this morning at 8:00 am. By this time I had been up for 4 hours because I couldn’t sleep. Stan and Kirsten were smoking cigarettes and drinking their … Continue reading

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