Thursday, August 17, 2006

More RNA isolation

Since submission of the CRP-S manuscript Monday evening, the past two days have been spent back in the lab. A fair amount of sorting, tidying, ordering, cleaning, and other boring stuff - but the tedious RNA preps should be done today. I had poor yield from two samples yesterday and there is no rhyme or reason to their poor quality. The cell pellets were ample in size and they were prepared concurrently with good yield samples. I'm tempted to blame Qiagen for poor column consistency. Their name usually strikes a sour cord with me as they sell very expensive stuff, yet have some of the most useless tech support. To Qiagen's credit, even with low yields, the RNA still looks great and the sample is not infiltrated by RNases. Hopefully, better yields will result today.

Aleeza successfully defended her thesis yesterday. She did well, and I took mental notes to try and remain as relaxed and composed as she when my own defence comes around. I was particularly frustrated by two things: 1) the audience gets their only chance to ask questions immediately following the intro presentation, while their minds are still swirling from the tonne of info just presented. Instead, the audience should get to ask questions after the committee (who have all just read the thesis) ask their paced and thought-out questions. I think that this would do much to stimulate the audience into asking more pointed questions. 2) (this is not to be missconstrued as sucking up to the boss) The questions were all the same and rather boring. They were exactly what you would expect based on the material presented. Defences benefit from Rosie-style questions, which probe different and accessory (but equally relevant) issues. At least the examining committee did sound genuinely interested in the thesis material, even if they all fixated on the same stuff.


At 1:14 PM, Blogger Sally said...

Good luck with your RNA isolation!!

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Rosie Redfield said...

The official Instructions to the Chair for Zoology thesis defenses specify that audience questions should be asked BEFORE examiner questions. But PhD defenses have audience questions after the first round of examinar questions.

Given a choice, I suspect that most MsC candidates prefer not to have my type of questions at their defense.

At 6:42 PM, Blogger Heather Maughan said...

I think that the questions were not too dull but they didn't have anything to do with the biology of the organism....a common problem in experimental evolution. Even though evolutionary studies try to generalize over all taxa, evolution only makes sense in light of biology....


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