User:Brian P. Josey/Notebook/2010/02/10
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The ferritin came in while I was out. It is a brown solution with a slight dark red tint. I drew some out of the main bottle with a pippettor, and placed it in a stock tube. For future reference it is labeled on top as "FeS" for ferritin (and iron) stock. On the side I wrote out "Ferritin stock." In this tube I put in 100 uL.
I then created a dilution of the ferritin at 1:10 in water, 5 uL of the stock ferritin and 45 uL of DI water. Marked as "1:10 Fe" on top, and "1:10 Fe in H2O- 50uL" on the side. It is a lighter color than the stock, more of an amber than a red or a brown. Some of the ferritin did not go into solution right away, leaving a dark spot at the bottom of the tube. This was a very small portion, but it gave me a chance to try the magnet. I held up one of the small neodymium magnets to the side of the tube, and the dark spot was attracted to the magnet, in exactly the same way the beads were last Friday.
After mixing the tube together, I put the tube in an upside-down tube holder, and balanced that so the tube was placed between the tip of the nail and the neodymium magnet on the yoke. I had to put the rack upside-down so that I could see it. I am leaving it for one hour, 12:30-1:30, to see what happens. This should give the tube plenty of time to go through the magnetization process. What I hope happens is that either the tube becomes more clear, or the areas around both the tip and magnet become darker than the rest of the tube. Both of these would prove just how magnetic the ferritin is. If the tube remains uniform in color and darkness, then I will have to come back and rethink what I am doing.
I let the tube sit for an hour and a half, half an hour longer that I originally planned. Unfortunately, there really wasn't any change in color, or development of protein clusters. From the best that I can tell, the only thing that happened, was the tube sat out on the lab bench for ninety minutes. To be perfectly honest, I'm not surprised. The set up that I had was very basic, and simple. It would have been cool to have a success like that right of the bat, but going into it, I knew that it would be unlikely. I am going to try to come up with some new ideas, and see where they can take me. I would like to see if I can visualize the proteins on the microscope. I doubt that I will, the proteins are very small, but getting some more hands-on with the microscope will help me out a lot down the road.
I created a flow cell of my 1:10 dilution of the ferritin. Because the proteins are so small, on the order of 12 nm, I will not see the proteins individually. However, the main idea is see if I can see them as a whole. So I will look at the field of view, and then introduce a magnet. Hopefully, areas around the magnet will become darker, indicating heavy presence of the protein.
Like I suspected, I was unable to see individual proteins. Considering their size, this isn't surprising in the least. We tried placing the magnet on the slide and seeing if there was any change in the field of view, and there wasn't. Andy then did a simplified version of dark field, by placing an opaque disk on the condenser. This darkened the field of view, but after placing the magnet on the slide, I didn't notice any changes. It looks like I am going to have to come up with another way to visualize the ferritin.SJK 22:23, 10 February 2010 (EST)
Using the Microscope
While I was using the microscope, Andy was able to help me expand upon what I learned on Friday. In the interest of having all my notes in one place, and having a reference for the future, here is a simple outline of everything we covered.
Setting Up the Microscope
Here are the steps to setting up the microscope:
I also went over how to set up Köhler illumination.
Cleaning up and Closing Shop
Cleaning up the microscope after using it is essentially setting it up in reverse.