I have recently begun volunteering at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine Department of Gastroenterology and Liver Related Diseases. The department is run by Dr. Allan W Wolkoff, whose lab I am fortunate enough to work in. His research concerns organic ion uptake by hepatocytes.
During my time here, I will learn basic research techniques and conduct an independent research project. I began by learning to use a pipette. On my first day I transferred coomassie blue dye into microcentrifuge tubes in exponentially increasing volumes of 2 microliters from 2 to 512.
After being able to accurately insert the required volumes of dye into the microcentrifuge tubes, I conducted a BCA protein assay.
In this particular procedure, the objective was to derive the protein concentration of two samples of rabbit serium. This was achieved by preparing solutions of BCA and known concentrations of BSA, followed by solutions of BCA and unknown concentrations of rabbit serium. The absorbance of the solutions was obtained using the spectrophotometer. The absorbance of the BSA solutions was graphed in a standard curve with concentration as the independent variable. The concentration of protein in the rabbit serium samples was estimated based on this standard curve with the known absorbance.
The next day, I ran an sds gel for bovine serium albumin and rabbit serium.
This is my gel preparation. I transferred the rabbit serium and bovine serium albumin solutions into the gel through the horizontal gel box. Rabbit serium is on the left row and bovine serium albumin is on the right. My insertions become increasingly compact with every column, from left to right. Yay for progress!
This is the finished gel stained with coomassie blue dye! Isn’t it beautiful? It’s perhaps one of the closest pieces to artwork that I will produce here. Microscopic views of liver cells have an aesthetic beauty that would translate well into art if photographed, however.
I look forward to what I will learn next week. Hopefully I can begin working with hepatocytes!
I would like to give a special thanks to Peggy Wang for mentoring me throughout this process and Dr. Allan Wolkoff for providing the resources to work in his lab!