August 05, 2008

Good Day with a Rough Start

This morning started off with a good deal of confusion over where to deposit my samples on a sequencer plate, but it all worked out in the end. I should be getting sequence reads back tomorrow that will tell me something about the identity of the two Sarcodon specimens I collected. I won't get to work on them until Thursday, though, as tomorrow is my day for field work.

I received the approved permits for the research sites in North Florida at which I and my colleague will be working on our upcoming Florida expedition. We've got everything set now — field sites, flights, a place to stay and a lab to work in. The only thing left to do is put together a schedule for when we'll be at specific sites, as the terms of the permit requires that we notify the state biologist two weeks in advance so that any necessary arrangements can be made.

I also received 25g of 2-sulfobenzaldehyde sodium salt when I came back from lunch. I've been waiting for that to show up. One of the compounds used in identifying fungi particularly russula, is sulfovanillin. It's a pain to work with as it can't be stored for long periods of time and mixing up a batch of the stuff requires messing about with sulfuric acid. SBA is a good substitute that stains gloeocystidia and can be stored and doesn't involve acid and fume hoods. I can't wait to try it out (yes, I know how geeky that sounds). Perhaps I'll have the chance when I get back to the lab tomorrow.

Finally, today is my kid sister's birthday. She turns 37, so I guess "kid" isn't really applicable. I did get her a present that replaces something of hers that I melted into little blue puddles when she was about 7, though. I hope she gets a chuckle out of it.

Not a bad day, all in all. I've got potential PCR product from four Diaperis maculatus on the thermocycler as I write this. It should be ready for electrophoresis at about 2:45 PM, so all (five of) you "gel of the day" fans might be in for a good one today. 32 samples comprised of large and small rDNA and two different cox1 segments may be ready before the day's out.

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