Today went well. At work I ran the products of last Thursday's PCR, and finally, after six or seven tries, I can distinguish the markers from one of my Chlamy strains. All that needs to be done now is figuring out how to coax the markers of the other strain into showing up. PCR, or polymerase chain reaction, is a technique that I'll be using a whole lot this summer. The reaction amplifies key regions from bits of the genome, called markers, that differ between Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and the field strain S1D1. The result is a collection of DNA segments that are exact copies of the markers. The DNA segments can be loaded into this contraption that separates pieces of DNA based on size, such as the differently sized markers from C. reinhardtii and S1D1. Later on, I'll be using this process to distinguish the inheritance pattern of chromosones from mutant C. reinhardtii that are mated with S1D1. By analyzing how the different markers sort after crossing the two strains, it will be possible to find out which chromosome the mutant gene is on.
The rest of my day at work went smoothly, though I have doubts as to whether my DNA extraction was successful. Previously, in extracting DNA, the solution progressively lost its color, and yielded a white clump of DNA at the end. Today the solution stayed a kind of murky brown-olive color...and the clump I got at the end was black. So I'm not too sure I'll be using that DNA later on...
I got home at about 6 and was met by an incredible surprise! Here is part 2 of I have amazing friends. In the mail I got a decently sized box from my first swap buddy ever, Tany! This is from our first planned swap, originally for Valentine's day, but we were both very late for that. Tany has gorgeous handwriting, and she packaged everything so beautifully.
First off is this little pillow to hang on my doorknob, though I put it on my lamp for now. It features a gorgeous golden green quilted fabric with tons of matching buttons, which are a common theme between everything Tany made.
This is a beautiful crochet hook roll that Tany made with pretty floral fabric. I really love it and have already loaded it with my hooks, cable needles, and double pointed needles.
Here's the grand centerpiece: a big beautiful tote bag featuring a giant peony and more of those awesome buttons. Tany called it a yarn bag, but I think I'll carry it with me as a purse. It's too pretty to keep at home.
Me enjoying some Valentine's day chocolate. Definitely still good!
Some botanical news?
Here's a tiny handful of tiny strawberries yielded by my apartment front garden, collectively named Shelly.
Here's my new terrarium! 40 gallons tall. I'm very happy with it. I just need to autoclave some more soil, finish landscaping, and buy a lid and a light, and it will be ready for Slippy to call it home.
Here's my moss garden now--the moss is dead, but it's been taken over by a beautiful wildflower.
The end for today, and if you read this Tany, thank you so much for everything!! It's all so incredible, I feel so honored to possess your creations!