Started my summer research term last Friday (it’s full time for 16 weeks so I’m not going to have a ton of free time this summer). Everyone in the research group are really nice and they’re always willing to explain things to you/help out if you need it – which is great because I don’t really know what’s going on half the time.
For the past few days, I’ve been doing a lot of reading into analytical chemistry techniques and into relevant subject areas for the research.
To be completely honest, I was caught off guard by the amount of terminology that I didn’t know.
Here are some things I’ve wikipedia’ed as I’ve been reading:
1) Assay – any qualitative/quantitative analytical procedure. I’ve heard the word like a million times and it relieves me to finally know what it is in terms of a definition.
2) HPLC-MS vs LC-MS – basically HP means high powered and nobody uses the regular LC anymore because it’s outdated. Technology advances so quickly.
3) Blood serum – serum is everything in your blood except for your blood cells/clotting factors (which is confusing to me because blood without blood cells is so counterintuitive)
4) % CV – not curriculum vitae unfortunately, it’s coefficient of variation (standard deviation/mean)
5) ion suppression – exactly what it sounds like: a bad, bad thing that ruins your data (a major villain in mass spectrometry)
I watched my supervisor tinker with the LC-MS/MS (Liquid Chromatography tandem Mass Spectrometer) yesterday for a few hours – wish I was a mechanical engineer because that machine sure is complicated.
I’m a little worried that I won’t be able to contribute many ideas to the research project because of my limited knowledge in analytical chemistry, but I’m trying my best to read up on all the necessary background right now so hopefully I won’t be useless.
For now, I’ll just enjoy the learning process and see where I go from there.
P.S. there are markers you can use to write on the windows and someone drew this panda. I don’t know why, but it brings a smile to my face every morning as I walk in.