Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The First Lab

Today started out normally with an alarm clock and dorm breakfast, but today was the first day of our lab lesson. In the lab, everyone was required to wear a pair of gloves, a lab coat, and a pair of goggles. At the same time, there should be no water or cellphones present. After everything was set we started our lab.

There were two parts of lab. The first part was an introduction to the usage of pipettes. There were two main types of pipettes: micropipettor and standard pipette. The micropipettor was even divided into three types according to the volumes they measured: P20, P200, and P1000. We were supposed to use different types of pipettes depending on the volume of solution we wanted to transfer from solution one, two, and three into tube A, B, C, D, and E. Although this part of the lab was boring, but it would be a required technique for this course since the course is called Techniques in DNA-based Biotechnology.

The second part was the "Properties of DNA." In this part, we were supposed to generate three different mixture with DNA after different treatments and observe the difference result. The first mixture was the control, which the DNA was not neither heated or added with DNAase, and was only mixed with ethanol. The result was a white strip with clear liquid. I assumed that the white strip was DNA. Then, we heated DNA in the next part. We heated DNA in saturated NaCl in boiling water for three minutes and immediately put it in ice. The result was white turbid mixture. The third one, the one with DNAse, had the same result. After the experiments, we had to observe and write down our observations. Our homework for today was comparing the results, finding out the reasons behind them, and inferring other results when these experiments were under different situations. We will discuss the answers tomorrow.

This was not the end of my learning today. I attended a program called "'What are you?"'Demystifying Stereotypes." When I first saw the topic, I was interested by the word stereotype because I myself have experienced of being stereotyped by people, or stereotyping other people. In that hour, the instructor, Natalie, showed us two videos regarding ethnicity and race. The first one was about how people were always being asked, "What are you?' and being assumed as a race because of their appearances. People were also forced to choose a racial identity in the society. After the video, I felt heavy because sometimes I would also ask people where were they from because of my curiousness, but I did not mean to hurt anyone. The second one was on interview with many people asking their race. I realized that the world was composed of diverse individuals. Not that the group of people was diverse, but every person is diverse. We all have diverse ancestries. Maybe someday I will realize that I also have ancestors from Japan, Netherlands, and Spain because Taiwan was once a colony of theirs.

I went to another talk called "The Disney Vault: Unpacking Gender and Racial/Ethnic Identities in Disney Media." I expected to have a lot of fun in this talk, but I think I was wrong. I was expecting to have deep analysis on Disney characters, who I grew up with, on their portrayed gender roles and racial identities, but the instructor just read from his packet and he even said that he was not familiar with Disney. At least, I realized that most Disney princesses were underage, and Snow White was only fourteen-year-old.

After my dinner with only an orange, I went to another talk from Jon Ebinger, a Washington DC based media consultant and educator, on the current news media. He provided many data on how the trend of ways people getting their news is changing because of the emergence of mobile devices. The average age of news viewers was surprisingly old: 63 years old. I also learned a way to distinguish the intended audience age of TV shows, which is look at their commercial types and see what kind of consumers are these commercials aiming at.

"I could finally take a shower," I thought, but there was no hot water. I really did not like the feeling of taking a shower in cold water. I hope it will be fixed. I learned something new today, and I hope I can also learn something new tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I loves hearing about this detailed lab. The knowledge you have already gained is amazing to me.

    Eek, sorry to hear about the cold shower! Make sure your RA is aware.