Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Precious

I woke grudgingly to prepare for my blood extraction; I needed to drink a glass of water and be at the Health Center at 8AM. I was not nervous—I have already had my blood extracted before—but once I got to the center I was slowly tensing up.

I had a nice experienced phlebotomist. She saw my veins and drew my blood. Some students were not so fortunate, and someone had three trials to find the vein. I think that was why I was tensing up: I know that I am probably fine, but there is a doubt, such as what happened with the three trials, that they will spill my precious blood. I heard that for the program “So you want to be a Doctor?” students were to draw their own blood. So I thought, “I can see my arm tensing up, my muscles twitching and my hand was shaking—no, I could never draw my own blood.” Luckily, it was quick, and I am not too dizzy from the “large” amount taken out (“large” being 6 ml of blood).

Working with my own blood was tenser than taking blood out. I would never get another chance to analyze my blood, and I would not want to remove the blood that is keeping me alive. There is also an attachment to the blood I am working with; it is a part of me so why would I want to waste it by having an error that would ruin my results. I would also be unable to find out what my chromosomes would look like, which I have been looking forward to the entire class.

Ms. Hall also understands the attachment to blood. Since mammalian cells cultivate longer, Ms. Hall wouldn’t allow students to set the culture because the culture would not show up if containments entered the petri dish. We were able to handle some of our blood when we separated the white blood cells from whole blood. Tomorrow we will extract the DNA from the white blood cells and see our DNA.

In a more melancholic note, none of my E. coli cell cultures worked. I assumed that since I only chose petri dishes of the same solution, which I concluded to include both of the antibiotics because none of the cultures grew colonies. This does mean that some of the cultures were viable, but the results indicated that there was no transformation. I don’t know if anyone else got transformed bacteria, but it just confirms that transformations are rare.

The class is getting more intense, but I enjoy these labs. I am learning the skill and if I fail every lab, I at least know the technique so I can recreate it at my high school.

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