The university that I currently attend hired me as a laboratory assistant. I basically have to work with different test tubes that are run through a centrifuge. The university decided to go with a new Laboratory Information Management System to manage the lab in place of the old one. The new one is more efficient than before, and as a result, it makes my job easier. Sometimes it can be a bit boring to wait on the test tubes to finish spinning, but it’s easier to keep track of how many tubes and other supplies we have in stock and who is assigned to which tasks.
Most recently, the lab has been running tests on blood samples taken from mice. The blood samples were used to extract genes sequences that could be used to determine what causes Alzheimer’s in humans. Although a lab rat isn’t entirely the same as a human, there are similarities in our mammalian DNA that make them a perfect starting point for treatment methods that may be used on humans in the future. It may take years before our research pays off, but we’re all hoping that we’ll be able to make some kind of meaningful breakthrough.
Part of my work with the lab rat blood samples will go to creating my college thesis. Every student who is doing the premed track at our school has to write a thesis based on their work. I’ve known a few people who have done a thesis in the past when they were seniors in college, and they had to put a lot of work into it. It’s probably the hardest thing that I’ll ever have to write while I’m in college, and I’ve had to write a 25 page paper about various themes found in old Chinese films.