Day 1 – Bat Lab – Our mission, should we choose to accept it!!

Day 1 and I nerdishly  arrive an hour early, partly because I am so excited to be starting the project (sincere thanks to Prof. Emma Teeling and Dr. Joanna Kacprzk for this opportunity) and partly because, if I am being perfectly honest ,due to the fact that U.C.D. is a sprawling mass of buildings, I know I’ll require time to find the right lab. Upon arrival at the Biology and Environmental Science Lab, I meet up with some of the fantastic  team from Prof Emma Teeling’s Bat Lab.  The lab is buzzing as some of the team are about to embark on a research trip to France.  I am then delighted to finally put a face to the name when I meet Olivia, my fellow teacher and co-conspirator for the next 4 weeks. Our mission ( we have chosen to accept it) is to spend one month learning all about bats and developing a Transition Year Biology programme. After a tour of the lab Olivia and I have some time to chat about our ideas for the project. We quickly discover that we are on the same wavelength and are aiming to design a 6 week TY module. To help with our project, I am reunited with a tome from my undergrad years (Campbell – Biology), albeit a far more updated version, which will provide some ‘light’ reading over the next few weeks methinks. So, with massive enthusiasm, we are ready to get started and spend the afternoon extracting DNA from Bat blood with the very patient and fantastic Dr. Nga Lao.

Concentrating hard

Concentrating hard

 

Old Lab Skills being refreshed

Old Lab Skills being refreshed

It’s fantastic to be back in the lab. The Phenol Chloroform DNA extraction that we are working on results in a very pure product and I am very aware that we are working in ul and with very  precious samples, therefore, frowning with concentration, I endeavour to recall my old lab skills of yore.  Great first day. Can’t wait for tomorrow.

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