7 Days Left – Jay K.

Sitting at my lab bench, pipettes and microcentrifuge tubes littered across the surface, I clack away at my keyboard to the beat of “Baby” by Justin Bieber. Do I hate this song? Yes. Does it matter in the lab next to my Genomics peers? Absolutely not. As long as we can all mumble along to the lyrics, shake our heads in coordination with the energizing beat, and (try to) identify antibiotic resistance encoding genes hidden deep within millions of DNA bases, then I would consider the night – as well as all of the soon-to-conclude Summer Science Program in Genomics – a complete success.

Thinking back to what we did today, it all blurs together in a haze of lectures, writing sessions, and lab procedures. We started the day with a lecture by Dr. M about scientific paper revision; ironic because he’s been the person ripping apart all of our papers. Figuratively, of course, and as he reassured us, his extensive feedback all comes from a place of care and faith in our scientific and writing abilities. Frustrating as it may be when every sentence of the paper you spent countless hours on has feedback on it – you know that once all comments have been addressed, your paper and writing abilities will be all the better for it. 

After learning about the process of paper revision, we checked in on the results from our Polymerase Chain Reaction lab the day before. Effectively, we replaced certain genes of our bacterial DNA with potentially mutated versions of the same genes. This was the second big step in verifying what we found in our genomic analysis. Unfortunately, about halfway through the process, many found that their samples did not meet the quality specifications – this was expected though, as this was the first time this experiment had been run. The setbacks did, however, prompt another late night lab session – which although sounds ill-fated, like most SSP Genomics work sessions, became another productive round of karaoke.

Overall, I found today to be a wonderful showcase of what SSP truly is. It is a time to do intense work, like the bioinformatics I was running in the picture below, but it is also a time to have fun with your peers – collaborating on projects and harmonizing to songs.

Hi everyone 🙂 

My name is Jay Khemchandani, and I’m from Orlando, Florida – the home of Disney World, Universal, and way too many alligators. Apart from the classroom, I can be found vibing with friends, riding my bike, or listening to all kinds of music genres most people haven’t even heard of – that is, before I curate playlists to introduce them to the soulful beats of Nujabes and the lyrical genius of Madvillian.