For those of you who have been awaiting keenly the arrival of our blog, good news! As we have reached the midpoint of our project we have decided to release a set of blogs detailing what we have spent our time achieving.
There was a steep learning curve to begin with. It was very tempting, since we had a £1500 budget, to order all the reagents we would need, but thankfully our supervisor managed to keep us grounded on that notion. While £1500 sounds like a lot on paper, once we had factored in the costs of our most expensive reagent, the antigens, we realised it could go all so quickly.
While we had great expectations for the amount of ground that we could cover in the first week, in actuality most of our time was spent on waiting for some of our reagents to arrive. This highlighted to us the importance of good organisation by making sure we have a good plan of what we want to cover each week in order to ensure that we have both the reagents and the equipment available.
We did manage to come up with a couple of methods of proving that our first step worked. Our preferred one which involved using a dye to determine the yield of our first step, allowed us to obtain a perfect calibration curve. Unfortunately, as we found out later, the dye did not react with the product of our first step. This was slightly problematic as we had, at this point, no gauge on whether the dye didn’t react with it or whether the reaction didn’t work.
We did eventually find out that the dye didn’t react with the product, and so we had to come up with a new method of detecting whether our reaction had worked, but that was week one over.