The week started very fun; we were actually filmed for a Thai television show featuring research! My lab and I wore matching shirts and we were all briefly interviewed for the show. We then went out for pizza and karaoke to celebrate!
Despite the fun and excitement on Monday, the next two days were incredibly challenging. We have been using a modified Lowry Protein Assay method for determining protein concentration. We were trying to build a calibration curve using both a spectrophotometer and RGB values, but nothing was working out. On Tuesday, we measured out 1 mg of BSA protein instead of 10 mg in the very first step of the method. Because of this small mistake, the results for the rest of the day were completely useless (8 hours of work).
On Wednesday, the calibration curves were made correctly, but the unknown concentrations found using the spectrophotometer were completely incorrect. We tried remaking the solutions and re-running them on the spectrophotometer, but nothing was correct. We did not even have time to run the samples using the RGB method. After 10 hours of unsuccessful work in the lab, we decided to head back to the hotel. My lab partner, Theary, and I spent the next few hours reading up on protein assay and trying to create a plan for Thursday (today).
Today, we came into lab feeling a little discouraged, but determined to get successful results. We created a linear calibration curve for the spectrophotometric method and ran all four unknowns three times. We then set up a calibration curve for the RGB values and ran those samples three times. We took the average of the unknown values using both methods and then compared them to the true values…we got all four correct! After two days of complete frustration, our hard work paid off. This week has taught me to persevere, and that enough preparation and effort can make even the most frustrating goals achievable.
The slideshow shown in this entry shows some of my lab mates at karaoke, our tedious research, and the successful results.
Never give up!
Love from Thailand,