Friday, July 29, 2011

Day 16

         Thursday morning I got up to speed with my blogs. We all had a staff meeting in Kelsey's lab because the reading room was being cleaned. I had no complaints because her room is decked out in very comfy couches and furniture.
          After that, I participated in the experiment for visual perception that Liz and Prati had set up. Essentially, they tracked my eye movement as I watched a soundless episode of Jeopardy with commercials. It was a little hard to follow without the sound, but I found that I was paying a lot more attention to facial expressions. At the end they did tell me the purpose of the experiment but I don't think that I can reveal it; I will say this though, it's really interesting.
          Elaine and I went down to our lab and checked on the plants that we had soaked in various solutions. The plant soaked in pure alcohol was completely dead. Everything else was still upright and appeared to be reasonably healthy. A chemistry grad student had signed up to use the NMR machine in the morning so we couldn't image any of our plants.
          At 12:20 we watched the liquid helium refill for the machine for an hour. It was fun to see because the machine was emitting clouds of the liquid helium. However, at that time, we also found out that there had been a problem with the machine in the morning. It was not producing the proper results so Dr. Hornak put our test sample in the machine. This is the one with the capulary tubes; I have a picture posted of it in the first few days of my blog. Instead of producing an image with many little circles in one big circle, the image was a dark rectangle. Dr. Hornak said it could be a little problem in which it might be fixed in a few days or a more serious problem in which it might take a few weeks to fix. After consulting with some people in the afternnon, he realized that it was a serious problem.
           This basically means Elaine and I have also run into a problem. There is a 12-year-old NMR machine in the college of Science which we signed up to use for two hours on friday. The problem is that the imaging part of the machine has not be programmed on it. So Dr. Hornak is going to save the program to a thumb drive and copy it to this older machine. If that machine doesn't produce good images, we may have a very big problem. All of our research is dependent on using this machine and since we don't have any of the images for our final project, we're in a bit a sticky situation. Hopefully everything will work out.

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