Today was a pretty easy-going sort of day. When we all assembled in the reading room this morning and shared what each of us had done so far and our project for the summer. All of the groups had really interesting tasks that ranged from building a intense computer to finding the exact day of a particular planetary alignment to determining the elasticity of paper without destroying it, and several other projects.
Me cleaning test tubes
Then Elaine and I went to Dr. Hornak's office and spent a little bit more time learning about the science of MRI. Each day that we spend going over it, the more comfortable I get with the material. Soon I really hope to have a decent understanding of the basics of MRI. After that we walked over to the college of science and picked up disposable plastic aprons and NMR tubes that needed to be cleaned. Then we spent most of the afternoon cleaning all those hundreds of tubes. After that we discussed possible things to image for the final project. We came up the idea to image a seed every day as it grows or the growth of a polliwog. The MRI image would show how much it develops in a day and over a longer period of time. I came up with a reverse idea: to watch the decay of a small insect, plant, or polliwog. If you may recall from an earlier blog the MRI measures the intensity of hydrogen regions. So decay imaging would show which parts of the object dry up or decompose first.
Elaine cleaning test tubes
At the end of the day, we went to two of the ponds on campus and saw little fish, but no tadpoles. I do have a doubt as to whether a tadpole will actually fit in an NMR tube, which we will find out soon enough I'm sure. I'm starting to get really excited now about our project and I hope we will end up getting some really neat images.