Back to Square One

Author | Monica P.

Editor | Rex S.

Hi! I’m Monica, a student from Michigan and an SSPer in the biochemistry program

at IU.
Here’s a video overview of our day today:

Today, I woke up to my roommate Xinrui informing me that it was 20 minutes before our lecture began, and somehow we both had managed to sleep through all three of the alarms that I had set the night before.



I sprung out of bed, grabbed some breakfast, and headed out the door. We ran into fellow SSPer Zach, who had just gotten up and was also rushing to get to the chem building.



I did manage to make it to the lecture on time, but not without dropping half of my breakfast on the way there, walking into the wrong side of the building, and forgetting my lanyard in my room.



I’ve created a video of the events for the rest of the day (see video above), but there are a couple of things I would like to include in addition to the video:



1. Proteins are gone



After a long week of being in the lab, we could nally purify our proteins that our bacteria produced. I was thrilled to watch liquid slowly drip from a column for 4 hours, and even more thrilled to learn that I would get to do that again for another 4 hours because our proteins are gone. Our group’s protein solution had been mixed



up with another group’s, leaving us both with no protein and having to start all over again.



2. Phenylmethylsulfonyl uoride (PMSF)



While walking to the elevator, someone dropped a tube containing PMSF, a toxic protease inhibitor that causes skin irritation. At the time, we weren’t sure what the solution was, so SSPer Jiya tried cleaning it up with her bare hands.



Long story short, we found out that the dropped tube was the PMSF tube, and Jiya was pretty stressed out. During the entire walk to IMU for lunch, Jiya asked questions (ex. “what if I die from PMSF?”), Xinrui was googling about PMSF (we found out that its half life is 30 mins), and I was busy recording the whole thing for the vlog (I know, I’m a great friend:) )



All in all, today was a busy but exciting day. SSP has been an incredible experience so far, and I look forward to the days ahead.