Hello, my name is Mouse_Maven and I will be tormenting you this summer.

I’ll take this thread as a sign your life has brightened a little, and wish you well.

Rather off topic to tormenting undergrads, but…

Neat. Not the neurophysiology work, necessarily ( though I’m sure that was interesting as well ), but H. crassicornis is my favorite local nudibranch. I’m fond of aeolids generally, but the neon racing stripes give H.c. the edge ;). Was your research specific to the species or more general? I thought Aplysia was the favorite for general research.

  • Tamerlane

So far, so good. :smiley: I’m ignoring my mother and I hope things will pick up at work. (I’m a bit of a work addict in recovery. I take vacations and stay home when sick.)

Mother called last night. I let it go to voice mail. Mouse_Spouse asked why I did that. “A cell phone may affect the baby’s development. I don’t want to risk it. I’m sure Mom will undertand.”

Ooops. Didn’t mean to upset. Hey, you know sometimes those things aren’t even necessary. A small bit of ‘pitocin’ in your IV and you might be fine. On our first, my wife had some issues dilating. There were some gentle resident Drs (random chance…they were men) who said “no these rods are not appropriate. She just needs more time to dilate.” There was a not so gentle resident Dr (random chance… was female) who said “Oh Yeah…? Gimme those things and I’ll show you how its Done.” She tried to use the crow-bar approach. :eek:

My wife really did gave me permission to kill her, out loud & in front of witnesses.

But, I only stepped between them, told her to stop the ‘treatment’, and stated that this Dr could only treat my wife when my wife’s OB-gyn was present. The Dr was very angry, throwing the rods onto the tray so that they scatterred across the floor and storming off in a huff, but my wife hugged me for half an hour.

Great. I’m a freshman about to start a summer stint as lab slave. Thanks a lot for the motivation, guys.

You mean they use those things on humans? :eek: Every reference I could find was to using them on cows, and that’s bad enough!


If your midriff is in mid-drift, you’ve got serious problems.

And yet, if you weren’t there I can guarantee that the science wouldn’t happen. Our lab manager does everything you do (including making us take the annual safety quizzes and making us pick up after ourselves), and I can’t imagine anything getting accomplished without her. Honestly, most of the PIs here have their heads so firmly ensconced in their research to pay attention to the everyday details that keep the lab running.

As far as getting good undergrad researchers, more power to you if you can get them. Especially for just the summer. It takes so long to train them, and once they know what they’re doing they leave. Sigh…

Want motivation? Do as many of them as you can. I graduated from a tier 1 university in Biotechnology and still found it very difficult to find a job with only 1 internship(with the USAF no less!).

Thanks. I was just telling a colleague, “Why am I so worried about becoming a mother? I’ve been one for years.”

Sometimes students come back. We had one that worked with us every summer and winter break until she graduated. That’s nice, but uncommon. Usually I give them straight forward tasks that I do regularly - like genotyping PCR. Its fairly quick to teach, its a good technique to know, and it get me out of a endless chore. :smiley:

Right now I just got an email about a Rotavirus outbreak in our scid row (the mice without an immune system) :frowning: . I feel a homocidial urge rising.

My wife corrected me. The rod held on the ‘inside end’ a medicated patch which was to be applied inside the opening of the cervix. The patch’s medication was intended to dilate the opening, but her cervix was very small & undilated at the time, so it couldn’t be inserted inside. Still, it was a metal freaking rod that I saw in the Dr’s hand being shoved none-too-gently up my wife’s nethers, and I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.

The work we were doing had to do with learning and changes in channels in cells of the photoreceptors. Animals were exposed to light paired with rotation (in tubes clipped to a turntable inside a large refrigerator type unit). Other animals were exposed to rotation and light which were not paired. We saw that animals who were exposed to paired light and rotation daily for weeks would then be slower to move into light.

The animals were then sacrificed and their central nervous systems studied. Recording from their photoreceptor cells showed changes that could be correlated with the changes seen in training. The changes also were caused by adding different chemical modulators.

This kinda skims the surface. Sorry if it makes little sense.

I’m an undergrad research assistant and this thread made me crack up :smiley:

I remember one of my first tasks was to count siliques (seed pods) on dried plants. I was so excited when I finished the first box. I figured I’d done my time with the busy work and I’d get to do something really interesting. That was until my lab manager showed me a closet full of boxes that still needed counting!

I do really like my job though. And my lab manager must be a super hero in disguise, she is amazing.

I would just like to say that this

had me giggling madly for five minutes after I read it.

And then every time I said it to myself, I giggled some more.

I am giggling away again as I type this.

So, thank you for amusing me for the last 24 hours and for some time to come.

A classmate of mine in veterinary school applied for a job with a veterinary behaviorist. She got the job, and was excited about all the interesting canine and feline behaviors she would be studying. Turns out her job was to sit on a hillside and observe a group of horses, through binoculars. She had to keep track of masturbation in male equines. She didn’t even like horses. :smiley:

Why does this sound like she was being sent to fetch a bottle of prop wash?

I worked in a behavioral lab for a while as an undergrad. The weirdest thing I had to do was get pigeons drunk. The post-doc I was working with wanted to see if it would affect their ability to delay gratification, such as it is. Mainly it affected their ability to stand up and stay awake.

I would set up a routine and check it for time to comeplete on maybe 10 items. Then I’d need the estimate for time to complete all the work. That’s when I’d realise that I had to process so many thousands of data points to finish and it would take two weeks or four or more. I’d then think God that’ll suck. It’s also very ggod insentive to make sure the process is repeatable and quick as you can make it. A day or two spent refining the process can save you a week or two in the end.

Virgo and Libra. That’s Mom and Lilbro :smiley:


My unfavourite students were:

  • for orgo lab, the ones who claimed I had to give them 100% because “I’m going to be a doctor”. Uh-hu.
  • in the research group, the Iranian-born dude who almost never came to the lab (God be praised), but when he came we had to let him have a computer (the rest were on a first come first serve, you go pee you lose it basis), who wouldn’t recognize honest labor if it bit him and who loved ranting about how he should have been a satrap but the revolution had made him poor, boohoo - dude’s living in a 4B by himself and complaining about poor to people who were living on our 1K/month TA stipend!