Saturday, June 13, 2015

Lab work is going well! I have been measuring and labeling the pictures of the WS2 membranes that I took under the microscope. On Thursday, I became trained to use HF which is an essential component to etching our WS2 membranes. HF training is necessary because HF is a chemical that binds with calcium and is not felt when spilled on the skin. To prevent HF accidents, it is important to wear a face mask, apron, and chemical gloves. If HF contact is made with skin, the area of contact should be rinsed and a chemical called Calgonate applied. The Calgonate will bring the HF to the surface and give it something with which to bind. 

On Thursday night, I watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail with Jenna. We prefer this to a "chick flick."

Fridays are fun days in the Drndic lab. In the morning Chef Physicist David bakes bread from scratch and around noon, our group goes to lunch together. 

This week we went to the food trucks. We ate the food inside the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. David was a dual physics and history undergrad major; he showed us the museum's sphinx and he promises to give us a full personalized tour of the museum one day this summer. 

It was very hot - in the mid 90s -  this week. It's not very fun outside in the heat. It gets a bit sticky in the clean suit but I'm much happier than being outside. Yay to air conditioning in the physics building. 

I love my lab group because everyone shares an eagerness to learn new things, work hard, and have fun. We are starting up a Journal Club for the summer where each week a lab member chooses a relevant scientific journal article, all members read it, and there is a meeting for discussion. Friday afternoon, I helped Paul start the Drndic Lab YouTube channel. Check it out here:

The physic building is also an exciting place for our lab. I don't work with lasers, but the "Danger" signs that line the hallway doors and occasional Nitrogen gas chamber in the open hallway enforce the excitement.

The NBIC REU program planned a trip for us to the Mütter Museum of College Physicians of Philadelphia on Friday afternoon. According to their website, the Mütter Museum, "helps the public appreciate the mysteries and beauty of the human body while understanding the history of diagnosis and treatment of disease."  The Museum houses exhibits and features: the tallest skeleton currently on display in North America, the body of the Soap Lady whose body decomposed into a soap-like substance due to the basic environment of the grave site, slides of Albert Einstein's brain, and a malignant tumor removed from President Grover Cleveland. 

There were no pictures allowed in the museum, however, their website provides pictures of some of the museum's permanent exhibits. (Warning: some graphic content.)

Following the museum visit, I ventured to an Irish Pub with Kevin and enjoyed a hamburger and good conversation. This weekend, I am planning to head home to Ocean City. I hope to bring back my bike and start riding. Many of the lab members ride to the lab and we have a roomy bike storage area inside our lab. 

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