Sunday, September 12, 2010

Graduate School

Wow... It's been a while since I've posted. I can assure you there's been good reason for that.
Well, here I am in the great state of Iowa. I'll be here for the next 5 or so years so I suppose I'll have to rename the blog to something else with a fun alliterative phrase. (Though I can't really think of anything that rhymes well with Iowa.) I suppose I could just leave it as a indicator of my past and progress towards my goals. I'm not sure what I'll end up doing with the title. Suggestions?

Let me begin by saying that I am fairly comfortable here. If I had my cat the place would be nearly perfect. The city, aside from being quite rowdy on game days, is a fun and interesting place. I never knew how much I would enjoy walking everywhere I needed to go. I haven't driven in my car for more than 15 miles or so since I got here in late July. The people are fairly nice and there's even a vast assortment of delicious beers. I enjoy being able to drop by the local grocery co-op to pick up fresh bread and walk back to my place (utilizing those fabric grocery bags that I would always forget back in Alabama). Downtown always has something going on, too.

Last weekend a few of the second years and I went to the Amana colonies for a beer festival. I got to eat hearty, authentic German food and wash it down with genuinely delicious, local beer. I think there's another beer festival downtown sometime soon as the pumpkin beers and winter spiced ales start to roll in. Gives me something to look forward to.

Graduate school has been great so far. I've started my first rotation through the Neiman lab working on a cell size project. Essentially I'm trying to prove that the flow cytometer is crazy (which I have), and look at the relationship between cell size and genome size. Since many of her snail populations are known polyploids (For my liberal arts readers: that is, has multiple chromosome copies which increases the DNA content per cell by a factor of 2,3, or even 4), we're trying to determine if the polyploid populations hava larger cells or not. This, as you can imagine, could have profound effects on the biology of the organism. Typically larger cells means less of them, which would have interesting consequences throughout the organism.
So far it's been fun. I've essentially developed the methods and started going. It's real research!

Anyhow,...I just wanted to tell everyone that everything is going great and give an update of what's going on.

1 comment:

haley said...

1. The right title will come to you. Until then, the old one still makes sense.

2. You don't have your cat?! Not good.

3. Pity I don't have an appreciation for beer.

4. I think I almost managed to wrap my spacey liberal-arts mind around your research. Kudos to you for that!