Week Three – Silver Stain, Reading
¡Hola! After a week-long absence, I have returned! GMU had its spring break, so I only went in twice last week. In that time, I attempted to passage the cells but forgot to take off the supernatant, or the trypsin-media mixture left after the cell-trypsin-media mixture is centrifuged (to remove the cells). So only one type of the cells survived. 🙁 On the bright side, I will never forget to do that again.
This week, I passaged my cells twice (good practice), learned a bit more about cell analysis, and started collecting and reading research articles for my senior project.
On Wednesday, I watched Purva carry out a silver stain. You basically run cell proteins through gel electrophoresis (a procedure which separates the proteins out in bands by molecular weight), fix them in place with acetic acid and ethanol, and make them visible by staining them with silver nitrate. If carried out correctly, the gel colors to the shade of old tea-stained paper, a kind of dark rusty yellow. The gel then goes in a gel-imaging machine, which uses fancy cameras to produce high-quality photos whose contrast can be adjusted as one wills. The only issue is, the imager or the gel or some other component has been having problems for the last two weeks. The photos are blurry or just completely white.
For my research, I created a table of canine comparative oncology studies to read. The most interesting one so far is the usage of nanoparticles (not CAPMM nanoparticles, but the center has something similar) to collect circulating tumor DNA in the blood better than conventional blood plasma analysis. This would allow less blood to be taken and potentially lessen the necessity of tumor biopsies, which are stressful on the body. The collected DNA would serve as a biomarker for the type, prognosis, and best course of treatment of the disease. The field of developing this kind of medicine tailored to an individual’s (or dog’s) specific presentation of a disease, such as cancer, is called “personalized medicine.” CAPMM specializes in it, so luckily I can ask my mentor if I have any questions.
Hasta la vista,