Tuesday, September 16, 2008

In Da Lab

Part of the training/work/things to do to run away from your prof/method of learning is to assist the lab assistant and lab technician to set up lab practicals for the undergrad students. Usually for them, we have bench aids, videos, and slides of the parasite or insects for them to view and to understand.
Usually we have to set up two labs at once, since some classes have around 50 students, so we have to set up all the microscope on the table with the slides in them. We then have to search for the parasites in the slides so that the students can view them. Its kinda a pain at first but after a while it becomes second nature to look for the parasites in the slides. Sometimes the undergrads itchy hands moved the slides and they end up looking at smudge or a dirt speck instead of the parasite.
We have also enlarged models on various mosquitoes that is important to man. It means mosquitoes that causes disease. Here we have Aedes aegypti one of the mosquito that causes dengue.

Other than THAT lab work, I have MY lab work. The day I gotten a reinfection from flu was the day my prof got furious because I did not start on the other part of my research. One of the pains of my research, is that my prof does not want to buy anything, instead he insist on borrowing or paying other people to do it. ARGHH!!!

This the pH meter I used to measure the pH of my mixtures. We add either acid (hydrochloric acid) or base/alkali (sodium hydroxide) to adjust the pH to our needs. I ran out of sodium hydroxide so I went to the cabinet to get the sodium hydroxide pellets. After I prepared the mixture, I used it to raised the pH level of my mixture ( ph 7 is neutral, anything below it such as ph 3 is considered acidic while anything above it, such as ph 9 is considered alkali). I was stumped that my pH actually dropped as I add the sodium hydroxide. I refer back to my co supervisor, Dr Ngah, about this problem. He took a look at the sodium hydroxide container and said, this is not the chemical needed. Dr Ngah showed me, a scribbled written by my prof, probably 10 years ago. My prof filled the sodium hydroxide container with silica gel

:( AARGHHH!!! what a waste of my time. My prof did not take the original label out, so for years people thought we have sodium hydroxide. My other colleagues don't use it, so they wouldn't know. Sigh...... well I guess tomorrow is another day, even though tomorrow is a public holiday for Selangor and some other states :(

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