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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Parasites, Panic & Politics

I made it back from Florida in one piece. [For Mel] I was in Tampa at the University of South Florida visiting a lab down there that does transfections for the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Transfection isn't anything new to science, but when you have an 80% A-T rich organism, getting anything to successfully insert into the genome is a big deal. It was a success! I'm not sure if the actual transfected parasites will survive, but just learning how to do the technique made the trip worthwhile. I worked full days on Monday and Tuesday and half days on Wednesday and Thursday. I managed to drive down around the Tampa Bay area to sight see a bit one afternoon and went to the IMAX the second afternoon. Other than that, I was basically in the lab or reading at the hotel. The hotel I stayed at was also in a bad part of town. I walked to campus on the first day I was there and was told not to do that again. Turns out they were right about the area. My last night at the hotel I was woke up at 3:30am to the sound of someone banging on the vending machines around the corner outside of my hotel room. The next morning, I noticed the security cameras had been knocked around and the vending machines were broken open. I was glad that was my last night there. The weather was very warm— eighty degrees during the day. There were violent thunderstorms each evening; that's unusual for spring.

Last week was a disaster trying to get everything back up to speed. It was frustrating. I'm still in panic mode with the end of the semester fast approaching and me not having my course project finished. That's one reason why this entry will be so short.

Wednesday we went to an Obama rally in South Bend. Kevin got six tickets, so we and four friends went to the rally. Obama didn't speak until 10:30pm but there was still quite a crowd. He's a great speaker and the crowd was really hyped. We're hoping to hear Clinton speak sometime. I'm so excited to be in a state that actually participates in politics and has candidates visit.

The lab has been very busy with parties and such. We had a successful thesis defense and engagement. On Friday, I also managed to invite over the entire lab to our house for a party. I don't know how it all happened, but before I knew it, I was having ten people over for Korean barbeque. It went really well though, with more food than we could ever eat. I even learned how to roll sushi (although we made kimbap). Needless to say, I'm very tired today.

Other announcements: I guess I'll be gone the entire month of June. I don't know how I'll do without my Riley. Should be interesting and exhausting. Well, that's all for now.

Blogger Tink said...

Congratulations on your successful trip and making it home alive! I'm glad you guys are doing so well in Indiana.

12:41 PM  

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