sexy science

Some of my fat cells died 😦

I half expected it with one of the flasks, it was a small fat sample and didn’t look that great from the start, but the other flask was a shock. Middle of last week it looked great but by the end, the lovely spindly adipose cells had shriveled up. I attempted to restore them to life by washing them with PBS and talking to them very nicely (I even sang them a little song), however by Monday morning it was clear they had gone.

weirdly, some of the older cells that had been growing well were also starting to look a little worse for wear on Monday morning (heavy weekend?!) No sign of infection. So I made up new media, just in case that was the reason. Fingers crossed that when I check those ones today they look better….

I am starting to see how frustrating research can be. You can spend hours, days even preparing cells and then growing them up and then for no known reason they just die. My PhD supervisor doesn’t know why either, cells are unpredictable and once they’re dead you have to start the whole thing again and wait and wait for them to grow before you can move on to do other experiments.

At least for me, there is no pressure but if I were writing a thesis on this and needed to get results it would drive me crazy having to repeat things over and over again. Though I guess that is the nature of research and it does make me appreciate how much time and effort goes into each discovery that is made. Each treatment that we have now and take for granted has gone through months and years of rigorous testing to ensure its’ efficacy and safety. Researchers – I salute you.

i wont have time to extract more fat cells and grow them up before I leave here in 2 weeks time, so I shall just hope that the remaining ones perk up a bit.

I helped out my fellow student on the encapsulation machine yesterday, which was pretty cool. Our supervisor describes it as “sexy science”, which I guess it kind of is. Putting stem cells inside of capsules that can then be injected into the human body, the capsule protecting the cells from the immune system and yet permeable to growth factors etc. It is so futuristic and almost unbelievable, but the machine is temperamental and again highlights the frustrating nature of research.

My kids have been getting in on the act by using their toy binoculars as microscopes and wanting to do experiments on bits of grass and other stuff they find out in the woods.

My daughter collected a jar full of  grass, stones, mud etc and filled it with water. A month later and it is growing this weird red stuff inside.. no idea what it is but she is very excited and thinks it is a new life form!! As long as she doesn’t open it and bring it near me she can do what she likes!!

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