Lab Session 27: Living in the MOE-ment

Experiment Date: July 7, 2023

Author | Jacob F.

Editor | Rex S.

Research Objective: To test inhibitor compounds on our Cdc14 enzymes, listen to question-of-the-day (QOTD) responses from TA Elaina, share travel tips at dinner, hear Rohan’s joke of the day, and prepare for the talent show!

Figure 1: SSP-ers walking together to the TA Talk after lunch.

I. Introduction

Day 27, 7:45 AM. It’s too early–I press snooze. ZzZZZzzZzzZzzzZZzZZZ. At 8:15, roommate Leon and I jump out of bed to prepare for the day ahead. I meet Hemkesh in the hallway and we split a cherry Pop-Tart running down the stairs on our trek to the chemistry building. Through the forested walkways and up the stairs/elevator we go–at last, the 7th floor. 

II. Adventures in Lab

As we’ve been learning about phosphoregulation, ligand docking, and enzyme inhibition through lectures this past week, we could finally apply the concepts to our Cdc14 enzymes. To start off the day, we all met in lab to work on Lab Session 17. Our goal was to use enzyme kinetics data from our pNPP assay last week to test 11 candidate inhibitor compounds on our C. purpurea Cdc14 enzyme. After adding quantities of 40 mM pNPP, water, DTT, our enzyme, 10x Reaction Buffer, and inhibitor compounds, we ran 3 assay trials. While we waited for the 20-minute intervals to elapse, we revised our research paper intro and methods section.

Figure 2: (left) Fellow Group 2 members Jeremy and Emilka working on our inhibitor assay. (right) 

Figure 3: The Grind. (left) Gracy and Sofia running calculations, while Rohan intensely pipets. (center) TA Elaina running the plate reader! (right) Group 5 focusing on Leon’s computer—praying that their numbers are math-ing.

Figure 4: Lauren intensely pipetting her group’s solutions into a well plate. Fun fact: her hair turns greener as each day goes by.

Figure 5: Hemkesh, Nikhil, a brilliant friend named Coomassie Blue, and Kenny procrastinating chilling by the incubator.

III. Mid-Lab Lunch/TA Talk

As today was a busy day in lab, a lot of SSP-ers decided to bring their lunch back to the hallway. I rate my chana masala from The Globe a solid 8/10. Afterwards, we had a break and headed to Elaina’s TA talk; she discussed past Question of the Day (QOTD) responses!

First, SSPer Zach did an incredible job introducing Elaina! He featured some of her fits, personal info, and even some of her past tweets. Zach’s Canva skills: 11/10. Back to Elaina’s actual presentation…Some highlights were Gracy’s drawings, conspiracy theories (mine on Birds Aren’t Real was spotlighted), and other out-of-the-box answers. 

Figure 6: (top) Felipe, Mina, and Sophie having lunch, chemistry building-style. (left) Lauren grinding and munching on a Sugar and Spice donut. (right) My chana masala and naan from The Globe.

Figure 7: Us heading from IMU to Elaina’s TA Talk in Lindley Hall.

Figure 8: Evie’s red panda friend (sighting 2!) ft. Vicky and Anna in the background.

IV.  Dinner

At dinner, Dr. H was telling us about her upcoming trip to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia. So, led by Jiya, we went around the table and shared our travel tips/”hacks”:

  • Always get the aisle seat for easy access to the bathroom or window seat to sleep.
  • Save pictures of your passport, tickets, etc. on your phone just in case.
  • Adjust your time to the destination’s time zone to get over jet-lag faster.
  • Put an AirTag or tracker in your luggage just in case the airport thinks that they don’t have your bags (Jiya’s experience).
  • Bring a plug adapter!
  • Don’t forget that the seasons are flipped in the Southern Hemisphere (*wink wink* bring a winter coat to Australia, Dr. H).

Figure 9: When Jiya gets ice cream on her fingers. 🙁

Figure 10: Vicky and Kenny listening to our dinner table’s silly conversation.

Figure 11: Post-dinner “productivity.” (left) Sofia, Jeremy, Jiya, and Xinrui amazed by the beautiful SDS-PAGE scan. (right) Xinrui working on figures, Maria organizing her Marching Band music as a Drum Major, and Sonia fixing her binder.

VI. Talent Show Prep

What’s in 8 days? The SSP talent show!! Many acts were busy rehearsing for the big day after dinner, such as Raul on Guitar, Monica on Piano, Xinrui on Clarinet, Sofia & Sonia singing, and Zach, Selam, & Eileen dancing. You may also see a rendition of Money, Money, Money” at the talent show!

Figure 12: Raul playing the guitar and Sofia singing “Garota de Ipanema (The Girl from Ipanema)”.

Figure 13: Monica, with a look of determination, warming up on the Memorial Hall piano. 

Figure 14: Monica (piano), Xinrui (Bb clarinet), and Sonia (voice) practicing their piece for the talent show. No audio files included because…it’s a surprise!

Figure 15: Zach and Selam (Eileen not pictured) preparing for their dance compilation at the talent show.