User:Brian P. Josey/Notebook/2010/10/26

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Meeting Results

I met with Koch last week to discuss my research. After talking for a while, we've decided to shelve the tracking software I've been working on for the time being. While it might be useful to learn LabVIEW, as my notes show, I don't enjoy it that much, and Koch believes that my current experiments to measure the force are not the best possible way to go about it. With the emulsions there are too many possible sources of error. For example, I have no way of knowing the exact size of a droplet, which I use to estimate the number of ferritin, and then the number of ferritin contributing to the force. So we talked about other possibilities, and I am going to start looking into them.

Koch suggested looking into the use of microinjection to measure the force on the ferritin. His idea is to inject tagged ferritin directly into a real or fake cell, and measure what he calls the characteristic distance. This distance is a measure of how the ferritin disperse under a force. Like blood cells in a centrifuge tube, the ferritin would be attracted to a magnet, but would not all clump together in one spot because of Brownian motion. This distribution can the be measured if the ferritin is tagged with fluorescent dyes, and the average force can then be calculated.

There is also the upside that microinjection can be used for other experiments in the lab. We could use it as another tool in our investigations into the behavior of kinesin, for example, by measuring the kinesin movements inside of a cell. So I am going to investigate the possibility of finding a cheap microinjection set up, tagging ferritin with flourescent dyes, and the characteristic distance that Koch mentioned.

Change in Notebook

I was thinking that it would actually be a good time to readjust the way I keep my notebook. While I've been keeping daily logs of everything that I've done, I've run across some problems. The main issue is that I cannot keep track of everything I need at once. For example, I keep having to dig through my notes to remind myself of Stoke's equation, or the magnetic moment of ferritin. While I can search for it using OpenWetWare's interface, it often turns up things that are irrelevant, or skips some things that could be useful to have.

My solution to this was actually inspired by the other students in my 307 class. I've noticed that very few of them actually use the calendar feature on their notebooks, and instead create new pages for their notes. I was thinking that I could create a series of web pages containing the important information about the different topics that I've covered. For example, I could have a page completely devoted to ferritin that includes its structure, magnetization, and other properties, and then have another that covers the basics of FEMM. Of course, I would have links to my notebook entries and reference papers. The upside of this is that I don't have to dig around as much for relevant information, but it may be a take time to accomplish. Granted, I could just copy directly out of my notebook, but knowing me, I would want to have it stand on it's own. I guess I could create a page for something simple, like emulsions, as a test for myself after I look into the microinjection issues above.